By Lakota Monzo, Contributing Writer
UMF’s new Beaver Lodge opened its doors last month following an extensive renovation of the old snack bar. Apart from some early problems with the ordering system which have since been resolved, staff and students appear to be settling into the new space, which now features comfortable, updated seating and a smoothie bar, among other upgrades.
The idea for the project which would later become the Beaver Lodge was proposed when UMF made the switch from Aramark to Sodexo for dining services.
“It was a small area that hadn’t been updated in awhile,” said Adam Vigue, General Manager of Sodexo at UMF. “Making the Beaver Lodge what it is now was a long road coming, It turned out better than what I thought,” said Vigue. He explained that the new space now has two times the equipment it previously had, a juice bar, and it features storage for all the staff to take advantage of.
“I think the school needed this update, it’s a way of showcasing the school,” said Vigue.
Audrey Gidman, a Sodexo worker at the new juice bar, is enjoying her first year working for Sodexo. “It was tricky at first with the new system, but I got into the swing of it now,” she said.
With the Beaver Lodge being accessible to the community and to students, Gidman explained that it opens them up to the public.
The first couple days the Beaver Lodge opened it’s doors, it was packed with curious students, and members of the community to see all the changes that had been made. So far, it seems that the new eatery has been well received.
“I like to spend my time here now,” said sophomore Emileigh Parsons, “it’s a comfortable environment that I can get my work done in.”
Gidman also spoke highly of the completed project. “I think Sodexo is very smart and organized,” said Gidman, “and put a lot of care into listening to students and their needs.”
With the newness of everything it is hard to see if anything needs to be changed just yet. “It’s like getting a new pair of shoes, you have to break them in before you decide if you need to change something,” said Gidman.
There were some problems with the ordering system in the first couple of days, but now the problems are worked out. “It was a learning curve for everyone,” said Parsons.
Parsons attended UMF last year with the original snack bar and said, “I’m so happy with all the changes that have been made.”
The walls are now covered with an assortment of new decorations that make it a relaxing place to get work done, which is a big change from the painted cement walls that the snack bar had last year.
“It looks super classy, and upbeat,” said Parsons.
The new Beaver Lodge is good place to go when you need a change in scenery, there is no other place like this on campus. It is located on the ground floor of the Student Center and open all day during the week.