The Hurricane Food Court and Hecht Stanford Dining Hall officially opened this week.
By Renee Reneau
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 28, 2015) —
School pride ran high during Tuesday’s lunch hour as University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala led the official ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the newly completed Hurricane Food Court. With the opening of TOSSED, a new salad bar with a variety of healthy toppings, and BUILT, a create your own gourmet burger station, the Dining Master Plan, in the works since its inception in 2011, came to fruition.
Shalala entered arm in arm with Sebastian, recounting that UM Dining has had numerous improvements, but this is the best one yet. With a pair giant scissors in hand, she praised the Hurricane Food Court as “the latest hot spot and another innovation to keep us on the cutting edge.”
Student Government President Alessandria San Roman said she hopes students will also take advantage of the new “Tapingo” mobile app, downloadable for both iPhone and Android mobile devices. Students can order their food in advance, and pick it up ready-to-go just minutes later.
“At first, people were kind of confused how to order, but with the online ordering app, everything is easier,” San Roman said.
The renovation of the Hecht Stanford Dining Hall was also celebrated. Shalala sat down with students to enjoy some flat bread and fried rice. The transformation included modern display cooking stations and more comfortable seating areas.
To tackle such a grand project, Dining Services formed a Task Force in 2011 comprised of UM students, faculty, staff, and administrators, along with Chartwells Partners Fred Heaviside and Michael Ross. More than 60 percent of the now Senior Class of 2015 was surveyed for opinions, preferences, and eating habits. After an extensive process of interviews, focus groups, and Town Hall meetings, the Dining Master Plan was developed in 2011.
Implementation of Phase II of the plan began last summer. Phase II openings included Subway, a full scale Sushi Maki, Innovation Kitchen, Panda Express, and Pollo Tropical. The revamping of the Hecht Stanford Dining Hall to include the Athletics Training Table and the modernization of the University Center Food Court were the final installations.
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