Red Jacket Dining Hall ready for re-opening

Mark Scott, executive director of Campus Auxiliary Services, has confirmed that a newly-renovated Red Jacket Dining Hall will re-open in the spring semester.

"I'm excited about students having the opportunity to go back to their dining hall," Scott said.

Red Jacket was closed this semester to allow crews to complete renovation work started over the summer. There will be no aesthetic changes to the facility, as the work's primary focus was to improve ventilation and air quality in the building.

Scott said that the biggest delays in the project were caused by the acquisition of a custom mechanical part necessary to repair the building's old and failing ventilation system. New state regulations delayed the process of obtaining this machinery.

CAS has attempted to compensate for the closing of Red Jacket by extending the hours of operation at many campus eateries, particularly Mary Jemison Dining Hall and the Geneseo University Store in the College Union.

With the return of Red Jacket, campus dining facilities will return to the schedules they used last year. Mary Jemison will no longer offer an all-you-care-to-eat dinner option and the Geneseo University Store will close at 8 p.m. on weekdays.

The Big Tree Inn, however, will continue to accept meal plan cards on Mondays, a change that was made this semester. "We like this, and Big Tree likes this, so why change?" Scott said.

Red Jacket's menu will be relatively unchanged. Southside Café will be reopening as well, though without the panini grills as they were unsafe and compromised air quality.

"Red Jacket is looking to operate closer to Letchworth Dining Hall in terms of operating hours," said Sarah Gittere, general manager of campus dining and catering. Therefore, Red Jacket will no longer offer an all-you-care-to-eat lunch option as it has in the past.

Gittere also said that CAS is hoping to expand the number of grab-and-go items available at Southside Café. An "Asian cuisine" option is also being explored at this time.

Nassau, Niagara, Onondaga and Suffolk Halls along with Dante House are collectively home to 972 residents with meal plans. Some students said they had heard rumors that Red Jacket would not be reopening; Scott has squelched such speculation.

"I encourage students to call me directly with questions about the dining hall experience," Scott said. "We understand that dining is an important part of the resident experience." Scott can be reached at 585-245-5646.

CAS plans to host a reopening event for Red Jacket. The event is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 19, the first day of the spring semester.