After Books & Bytes proved too small to reasonably hold a Tim Hortons, Campus Auxiliary Services is shifting their focus to upgrading 60-year-old Red Jacket Dining Center. According to Executive Director of Campus Auxiliary Services Mark Scott, the Tim Hortons idea came to a standstill mainly because purchasing the royalties necessary to open such a chain on campus is an extremely expensive process and business at Books & Bytes would have to nearly double in order to justify the expenses.
“Given the size of Books & Bytes in its current package, we do not believe that we can take on the additional business,” Scott said. “There’s just no way. It would have to be twice the space that it is right now to support the increased volume necessary to make the investment.”
CAS is currently looking for alternate locations for Tim Hortons, preferably on the upper portion of campus near the College Green. Some buildings that could potentially have space for a Tim Hortons—such as Fraser Hall—might be too old to house the franchise.
“We are in the mindset that the top of campus … is the right way to go,” Scott said. According to Scott, this location would be convenient not only for Geneseo’s residential population, but the commuters, staff, faculty and visitors that also eat on campus.
No decisions are definitively being made on any dining options, however, until after CAS receives feedback from students. To accommodate this, they plan on holding two forums in collaboration with Student Association and the Inter-Residence Council early in the spring semester at different times to hear from as many students as possible.
“We would like to hear from the campus community on what they would like to see,” Scott said.
According to Scott, Red Jacket Dining Center needs to be renovated soon because of the infrastructure and maintenance of the building. After 60 years of heavy traffic, the building is showing wear and tear, such as mechanical and draining issues in the building.
“Its infrastructure is failing,” Scott said. “There’s a number of issues in the building that make it necessary for us to renovate … it’s similar to things that made us have to do such large scale projects at Letchworth.”
With Red Jacket closed, South Side residents would have limited access to dining halls—particularly in winter months when people are less likely to walk outside for long distances. One proposal to counter this is to provide dining-centered shuttle services from South Side to the different dining options throughout campus.
Scott noted that there is about a “50-50 chance” that the Red Jacket renovations will begin at the end of the spring 2016 semester.
The largest setback to renovating Red Jacket—which would have to be completely demolished—would be the reallocation of traffic to other dining halls, particularly—Mary Jemison Dining Hall.
“It’s important that Mary Jemison is ready to be a full-time breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night operation if we choose to run it that way when we take Red Jacket down,” Scott said.