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College plans to finish major student center project and four other things you may have missed this week.

5 coronavirus things: College plans to complete major student center project to help halt enrollment decline

This and the impact of cashless transactions on sports concessions pricing are some of the stories you may have missed recently regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

In this special edition of 5 Things, Food Management highlights five things you may have missed recently about developments regarding coronavirus and its impact on onsite dining.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. WMU plans to finish major student center project

Western Michigan University (WMU) trustees have approved a $70 million bond to fund the completion of a new student center, a three-story, 162,450-square-foot building featuring nine shops and restaurants along with space for student organizations and gathering spaces, projected to open in fall 2021. During phase two of the project, set for completion in fall 2022, a third-floor dining center with seven “micro-restaurants” will be added to the facility. WMU has stated that the student center, along with recently completed new campus housing, are important parts of its efforts to turn around declines in enrollment and attract new students.

Read more: Western Michigan University will borrow $70M to finish student center project

  1. Cashless concessions tends to raise prices as taxes get folded into the tab

The shift to cashless concessions at sports venues has led to higher posted prices as sales taxes are being tacked on to the retail price of items on menu boards. Previously, when cash was accepted, the sales tax was typically folded into the price listed for food and drink, so the new approach in effect generates additional revenue for teams and concessionaires.

Read more: With Cashless, Tax Now More Often Tacked on to Listed Price

  1. Budget crunch may shutter Miami University campus farm

The Institute for Food campus farm at Miami University in Ohio is facing the possibility of being completely defunded due to university budget crunches. The farm supplies fresh food to the university’s dining services as well as to the Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services and more than 100 subscribers in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.

Read more: Miami University’s Institute for Food faces possible shutdown

  1. SUNY announces spring term plan

The State University of New York (SUNY) system has unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 plan for the spring semester that pushes the start date for in-person instruction to February 1, cancels spring break and requires all returning students to be tested and complete a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to their arrival on campus. Face coverings will be required in classrooms, conference rooms and all other public spaces where students are not by themselves and those eating in dining halls must be seated and remain socially distanced.

Read more: No Spring Break & mandatory testing included in SUNY COVID-19 plan

  1. University of Minnesota Rochester to take over defunct restaurant’s space

University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) received approval from the Rochester City Council to proceed on a $2.5 million expansion into the former home of The Loop, a commercial restaurant that closed in July, to create a new student lounge and campus dining space to be available to students in the first quarter of 2021. While COVID-19 has thrown future expansion plans at UMR into disarray, some sort of immediate expansion was necessary, thanks to an 11% increase in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, according to Chancellor Dr. Lori Carrell.

Read more: UMR changes course on expansion plans

Bonus: Best Sandwiches Readers’ Choice: 13 fried chicken sandwiches from food service chefs rule the roost

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

TAGS: Coronavirus
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