The Lory Student Center’s condition may have surprised many
returning students this fall, with a $2.4 million renovation to the
food court in process.
“In the long run it will be worth the inconvenience,” said
Robert Peters, director of business at the student center.
Peters, who has spent more than a year preparing for the
construction, said he is concerned about the flow of traffic
through the student center while the construction is taking place,
but he believes the outcome of the renovation is the most important
Despite the failing economy, Peters said he was able to take
advantage of the situation by refinancing loans to new lower
interest rates in a process he describes as “a combination of luck
This helped the student center save $4 million, all of which had
to be spent only on the student center, according to the student
center’s Web site.
“We would have been asleep at the switch if we didn’t do (the
renovations),” Peters said.
Peters said the renovations to the food court, which had not
been remolded since 1982, will make the dining experience easier
and quicker when they are finished.
With the help of a carefully assembled panel that included
students, alumni and staff, Peters looked at what the student
population most needed.
One problem with the old setup was that once patrons received
their food at the food court they had to wait in another line to
pay for it, Peters said.
“That was inefficient, a pain and it took too long,” he
After the renovations are completed, every restaurant will have
a cash register, separate kitchen and the food court will have over
200 more seats and better lighting, Peters said.
He said another benefit to the renovations will be the ability
to change the restaurants in accordance with students’
“We’ve designed these venues to update and keep up with trends
that students are interested in,” Peters said. “It’s much more
“It’s what our market expects and deserves,” said Peters, who is
excited about the possibilities the new food can bring in, making
students lives easier.
The food court is not the only thing that was renovated this
Other renovations include remodeling of the North Ballroom and
the Cherokee Park Ballroom to improve acoustics, lighting and the
“I was surprised to see the renovation and I’m wondering how
long it will take,” said Cameron McDonnell, a freshman business
Despite not being completed, McDonnell looks forward to the
“I think it will be an improvement and will give finishing
touches to the student center,” McDonnell said.
For students who are wondering what restaurants are open
currently, the student center Web site states Tacos y Mas and It’s
a Wrap have both been temporarily moved the east atrium of the
Students who are interested in the operating hours and available
restaurants in the student center can go to