Oct. 6-12, 2000
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Board hashes out O-Hill dining plan

By Rebecca Arrington

Rethinking renovation plans for the University's O-Hill dining facility was one of the topics discussed at the Board of Visitors' Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting Sept. 20.

Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, and Leonard W. Sandridge, executive vice president and chief operating officer, recommended that the board reject the current bids for renovation of the facility, which came in considerably higher than had been projected, and delay the project for two years. At that time, they suggest demolishing O-Hill and the Tree House snack bar to build a new facility that would fully meet program requirements by adding 7,000 square feet more than the renovation project would have provided, Sheehy said.

"This is the most important dining facility on Grounds," Sandridge said. "No one's more disappointed than me that the renovation won't meet the needs of the program."

Board member Terence Ross was concerned that the $1.2 million already spent on the architectural design study for the renovation project was lost, but Sheehy explained that wasn't the case. "We know what we need" based on that study, she said.

Sandridge estimated that about 25 percent of the cost of the study could be salvaged. It will take another $1.8 million to build a new dining hall, but it would be funded by the dining system.

Wheat asked if another location for the facility should be considered. Sandridge said that option had been investigated but that three-quarters of the undergraduates dined at O-Hill for dinner and 50 percent ate lunch there. Dining trailers will be set up to accommodate students' needs during the two-year construction of the new facility, he said.


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