Starbucks, Subway coming to Southeast campus

Friday, June 22, 2012

A planned expansion of dining services in fall 2012 at Southeast Missouri State University will include the addition of two well-known national chains and more seating in the University Center.

The Beanery Cafe now in the University Center will be replaced by a full-service Starbucks during the fall semester. A Subway restaurant will be added in space at the Scully Building that formerly housed the university's Center for Child Studies. Southeast's board of regents approved an agreement with Chartwells, the contract company that provides dining services to campus, during a meeting Wednesday.

The agreement includes $4.1 million in improvements and expansions to dining facilities in several areas on campus during 2012 and 2013, according to a project cost model university officials presented to the board.

Chartwells has agreed to fund $3.2 million for projects and the university will cover the remainder.

Renovations to the dining room on the third floor of the University Center will include a newly constructed seating area for 120 to 150 people, said Kathy Mangels, Southeast's vice president of finance and administration. Plans call for the Subway location and dining room renovations to be completed during the fall semester.

Towers cafeteria will also receive $1 million in renovations in 2013. Plans call for seating expansion and more food options.

Kevin Magnan, student representative on the board of regents, said many at the university are looking forward to the changes.

"I've heard a lot of students talking about it, and they are all excited," he said.

Mangels said the expansion is necessary to accommodate a continually growing number of students on campus during the past few years. Enrollment at the university grew to its highest level ever in fall 2011, with a combined undergraduate and graduate population of 11,500.

"The growth has put a lot pressure on services, and the opening of the new residence hall will cause that even more on the north end of campus," Mangels said.

A 262-bed residence hall is under construction near the Seabaugh Polytechnic Building and will open in fall 2013.

The university has guaranteed Chartwells service to a minimum of 3,050 students through the use of residential meal plans starting in fall 2013 as part of the agreement. The university will contract for all services related to the renovations and will hold the title to all improvements.

Students will be able to use "flex dollars" from their prepurchased meal plans in the new chain retailers, said Bruce Skinner, the university's director of residence life.

eragan@semissourian.com

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