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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Delay in new food court caused by ‘change in direction’

The opening of Pierce College’s highly-anticipated food court, initially slated to begin serving the school in the new Library and Learning Crossroads Center, has been pushed back.

During the Pierce College Council’s (PCC) Thursday meeting, Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said Pierce is trading a cafeteria with a single food provider for a more franchised approach incorporating local restaurants.

“We really built a wonderful food court down there, but it’s really made for a large cafeteria-type environment which, in today’s market doesn’t really prevail,” Schleicher said.

Exact figures weren’t mentioned, but President Kathleen Burke-Kelly touched on the importance of the new food court’s ability to sustain itself financially.

“It doesn’t make sense to bring on companies that are not appealing,” Burke-Kelly said. “We can’t afford to lose money. It has to pay for itself.”

Pierce is still figuring out what eateries will populate the food court that was originally scheduled to open with the new library.

“We are looking into the cost of Subway, Panda Express, and whatever else we can get in there that would be viable,” Schleicher said. “As much as I’d like the food court to open in the next month, it won’t happen.” Schleicher said.

The announcement was a bittersweet moment for PCC members like Assistant Bookstore Manager Candy Van.

“I work in the bookstore next to the Freudian Sip, and we want good food,” Van said.

Council members agreed that the change in direction was beneficial and expressed that having well-known restaurants would be appealing students and faculty.

Only two companies are on board with the project so far, and the question of exactly which companies will be coming to Pierce went unanswered.

“See, the hard part is I’m trying to give people more information so we can move forward. But then again, I have all these limitations of what I can say,” Schleicher said. “It’s a little bit challenging because you want to reveal it.”

A date for the the food court’s rescheduled opening has not been announced.

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