Things at Hardy Hall are changing. The upgraded pizza area and new international station are the most obvious improvements. They add more daily variety to the Sodexhorun facility’s menu, and students are taking notice.
For breakfast students can get omelets and eggs to order. For lunch and dinner, the versatile island serves stir fry, pasta and other dishes.
In an effort to maintain needed seating space, the new station is centered in the main serving area under a large red sign reading “Exhibitions.” Often the line for the dish being served stretches through the middle of the serving area.
Improvements are nothing new for Hardy.
“A few years ago, we put together a student group and asked them what changes they would make to Hardy,” said Dwayne Drake, general manager of the dining facility.
“The first thing was the deli which we implemented last year. Next was improving the pizza area and creating the international station.”
The enhanced pizza station includes a new oven and two new hot wells for pasta and sauce. Students appreciate the new amenities.
“They have calzones. How awesome is that?” said Zach Raygoza, director of spiritual life and junior Christian ministry major, as he sat down to eat with friends.
Vice President for Student Life Dr. Byron Weathersbee and President Randy O’Rear spent time meeting with students feedback. Drake said the comments were positive.
“My freshman year I wanted to eat my plate; now I enjoy the food,” senior computer graphic design major Matthew Kasper said as he cut a piece of his chicken fried steak.
Healthy choices are also making an impact on the dining menu. The new serving areas contains more body conscience options than before. Students can stay hydrated from the new fruit water that is available. This is a healthy alternative to soda.
The staff at Hardy Dining facility also has a reputation for being pleasant and helpful. Students have asked the chef for requests and found the specifics they asked for available within days.
Changes won’t be stopping anytime soon. A new grill station is expected in the future once space is available. Tim Johnson of the University of Missouri-Kansas City will become the Hardy head cook on Sept. 30th as part of the Sodexo traveling chef program.
Culinary experts from different universities journey to other schools for the night to share their recipes.
Johnson will be presenting Italian cuisine.
Drake said it takes about a semester to really know how students feel about the changes to the dining facility, but so far, he said, “the response is good.”