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Williams Dining Hall renovation put on hold

Although it was never announced to all students, many were anticipating a renovation for the dining facilities in Williams Hall. As of this week, the project has been put on hold.

The project was first announced to Student Admission Representatives (STARS) in August and to the Student Senate in September.

According to an email sent to STARS on Aug. 30 and obtained by The Scout, tour guides were told to say “major renovations will be happening in Williams Hall over summer 2020 and it’s going to be the premier spot on campus for dining – yes, even better than Geisert.”

Gayle Hanson, former general manager of dining services at Bradley, confirmed the plan at Student Senate meeting on Sept. 16, 2019. According to Hanson, there would be a remodel of Williams dining facilities next summer. This would have included changing the appearance of both the dining hall and Center Court to make it one facility.

This Thursday, University President Gary Roberts announced at the University Senate meeting that the planned construction project has been put on hold.

“That project was way down the road and we had designs and everything drawn up, but at the moment we suspended that project because we can’t get it under budget,” Roberts said.

According to Nathan Thomas, vice president for student affairs, the university has been considering a renovation and expansion of Williams dining for the past six months.

“In a given year there are many proposed changes across the university that get reviewed; some are implemented, others are not,” Thomas said. “When reviewing any proposed changes weighing the associated costs, potential impact and the timing of the changes are taken into consideration.”

According to Roberts, the project was going to be paid with a long-term, no-interest loan from Aramark.

“The cost of the project is just more than we’re able to finance, so that’s on hold at the moment,” Roberts said. “But hopefully sometime in the fairly near future, we’ll be able to move forward with that kind of project.”

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