The Bean recently completed a partial interior renovation designed to improve the dining hall’s space. Some notable changes include new wallpaper, countertops and fresh coats of paint – all part of Chartwells’ approximately $400,000 transformation.
The renovation was intended to take place last summer as part of a routine upgrade to refresh buildings with lots of foot traffic, but was postponed due to COVID-19. The decisions behind the changes were not random, as reflected by graphic designer Holly Harrell’s illustrations.
“It took approximately two months to come up with the design,” Harrell said.
A good portion of that time was spent simply researching ideas that would accurately reflect the dining hall. Students can see the fruit of Harrell’s labor near the rotating trash chute, along with handpicked quotes relevant to the Bean.
One of the more impactful renovations involves the Blendz counter, which will no longer be serving smoothies. According to Bean director David Casida, the area will now be designated for a milkshake machine that the University is bringing out of storage. The machine will will be operated by an attendant, rather than self – serve, and the milkshakes are expected to be available during lunch and dinner hours. The milkshake counter is expected to debut soon.
Not all of the updates were simply physical, however. The Bean’s hours are now extended to 11pm on Monday through Thursday, an adjustment comparable to last year’s 9pm closing time.
“We’ll be serving select popular food items during that time,” Casida said.
Students with later classes can now expect food to be available past traditional meal hours in the evening.
Though the majority of renovations are finished, construction will continue in the upcoming weeks and completion is tentative.