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Board of Trustees approves new Fresh Foods

Tray Smith

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The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved stage one of construction for a new Fresh Foods Dining facility at a meeting Friday. The new dining hall will be located on the current site of the Kilgore House, which sits between Rodgers Science and Engineering Library and Hackberry Lane.

Tim Leopard, UA assistant vice president for construction, said the new Fresh Foods will seat 700 students, with the capacity to serve 3,000 lunches a day. That is more than double the current Fresh Foods Dining in the Ferguson Center, which seats 250 students and is capable of serving about 1,200 meals during a typical lunch cycle. The project will cost an estimated $15 million.

The board also authorized University administrators to execute an architectural agreement for the second phase of the North Bluff Residential Community, a project that is estimated to cost $62.5 million. The project will begin construction after Rose Towers is demolished in the summer of 2012.

Along with the construction of the new residence hall, the board voted to increase the budget for the North Campus Student Center to $24.7 million in order to build a 23,700 square foot FEMA-compliant storm shelter. The center will be located in the North Bluff area and include dining and recreation facilities.

The board’s Friday meeting at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus was preceded by a series of board committee meetings Thursday afternoon at which UA Provost Judy Bonner was recognized for a memorandum she sent trustees regarding race relations at the University. The memo was sent after racial slurs were chalked on the Moody Music Building last month.

“I appreciate you doing this,” Trustee John England said. “We’ve made progress, significant progress.”

“We continue to work toward creating and maintaining an environment where acts of intolerance do not occur on our campus,” Bonner wrote in the memo. “We will hold individuals who betray that responsibility personally accountable for their actions.”

England said it was important that perspective students not be deterred from the University because of racially offensive incidents.

“I think that we need to make sure that incidents like the one that’s got all this publicity don’t have a chilling effect on our continued recruitment,” he said. “We still have to let people know that we want them to come. And it takes an aggressive recruitment effort and an aggressive message that we want you here.”

UA SGA President Stephen Swinson also addressed trustees for the first time as the student representative to the board, thanking administrators for their support of student government.

“Since my first day in the SGA, the University has always been willing to cooperate with us and lend a helping hand,” he said. “These administrators understand that by allowing us to make mistakes and educating us on how to delegate tasks, motivate others, and lead by example, we can do more than just make SGA operate efficiently. They are teaching us how to be successful in life with hands-on experience.”

In other business, the board approved a request for state appropriations of $611 million for the UA System, the same level of funding the system received in the 2008 fiscal year. That would be an increase of $153 million from current funding levels, which have been reduced as a result of state budget cuts.

Board members also approved stage one of construction for a new Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house to be built on University Boulevard, just to the west of the Student Health Center. The house is projected to cost $6.2 million dollars.

Pi Kappa Phi will sit next to the new Theta Chi house, which received authorization for an Owner/Architect Agreement after being granted stage one approval by the board in September. The Theta Chi house is projected to cost almost $6.9 million.

Finally, the board gave stage one approval for a new 1,000-car parking lot behind the Capstone College of Nursing.

 

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Board of Trustees approves new Fresh Foods