By Daniel Johnson, Sports Editor
University luncheons, departmental chapels and numerous other campus events will have to find a new home in the fall – the Hilton Room will be removed from the McGlothlin Campus Center to make way for a new food court.
Construction of the food court is planned for this summer and will include the retail restaurants Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, Freshens and Quiznos.
“I look forward to having more options to offer for dining services,” said Anthony Williams, director of retail and campus stores manager.
The three retail restaurants already on campus and a new Quiznos restaurant will take the space in the Campus Center where the Hilton Room is currently located, while the leftover space in front of the Bean will be used to extend the Bean.
Williams said the construction will be handled by a contractor out of Dallas and should be finished by the beginning of the fall semester.
Williams and a committee of representatives from around the university including Kevin Watson, associate vice president for administrative services, chose to replace the Hilton Room with the food court from a list of plans varying in cost and total renovation of the Campus Center.
“We had several different scenarios,” Williams said.
Students’ Association President Maher Saab, senior political science major from Abilene, represented the student body on the committee.
Although Saab said he did not play a part in choosing the final plan, he did help reduce the field down to a few plans for university officials to choose from.
“There were a few options left, so we didn’t exactly know this was going to be the plan,” Saab said.
Saab said the chosen plan was an appealing and cost efficient option that was selected with the students in mind.
“One thing was certain, they chose what they felt was best for students,” Saab said. “They really took the students opinion to heart.”
Saab said he believes the removal of the Hilton Room will be well received if the university finds a big enough room to fill the needs the Hilton Room was used for.
Williams said other conference rooms across campus and Teague Special Events Center will hold most of the events that were held in the Hilton Room.