Despite plans to introduce a full-service Starbucks in O’Riley’s coffee shop space in time for the spring semester, Linfield Sodexo is pushing back the construction process to June 3.
The decision to postpone the project, which was slated to take place during January Term, came after Bill Masullo, general manager of Linfield Sodexo, and Allison Horn, director of auxiliary services, re-evaluated the construction schedule.
Moving the Starbucks project to coincide with the renovation of Dillin Hall this summer proved to be more cost effective. Additionally, it eases the burden on the incoming contractors who otherwise would have had to make numerous trips, Masullo explained.
Although Starbucks is on hold for now, plans to remodel the Fred Meyer Lounge were in full swing during January, leaving the space ready for use in time for the new semester.
The Fred Meyer Lounge received a new paint job and furniture. The floors were refinished, and the Wildcat logo was added, Masullo said.
The Office of Academic Affairs funded the media portion of the space, which includes a flat screen TV, Horn added. There is also a built-in sound system.
In addition, the old wood-burning fireplace was converted to gas. Dan Fergueson, director of college activities, is safekeeping the controls, Horn said.
Originally, there were plans to open up the space to the coffee shop. However, the entrances had to remain the same because of structural issues, Masullo said.
Even so, the Starbucks space will be arranged differently than the
current café. The tables will be made from Linfield’s famous old oak tree. And, historical photos will adorn the walls.
Students will have the opportunity to see the floor plans after spring break. Masullo and Horn said they plan to post them up outside of the space.
“It was disappointing for everyone when the project was pushed back. But, [the Starbucks] is still coming, and it will be an improvement when everyone gets back to campus,” Horn said.
Jessica Prokop can be reached at email@example.com.
Photo by Jessica Prokop