On-campus dining options expand

On-campus dining options expand

by Luke Henning

One of the largest ongoing construction projects at San Diego State is scheduled to reach completion this upcoming fall with the opening of a new Aztec Market location at the north end of Nasatir Hall.

The $73 million project, which includes the Storm and Nasatir halls renovations as well as improvements to Scripps Road and Hilltop Way, is already more than 90 percent complete, SDSU Construction Administrator Quan Lee said.

Construction began in June 2012 after funding for improvements to Storm and Nasatir halls was confirmed from the California State University system. Though the majority of the project was funded through the CSU grant and several large donations, the new Aztec Market is primarily funded by Aztec Shops.

The facility will include a Starbucks as well as a sandwich shop run by Dining Services, Dining Services Director Paul Melchior said.

“With the success of pre-made panini shops like Olive Oil Cafe, we thought we might try our hand at opening one of our own,” Melchior said.

Melchior said Dining Services plans to pursue more restaurant-style projects in the future, such as the University Tower Kitchen, to give students more cost effective dining options on campus.

“It comes down to the students’ needs, really,” Melchior said. “Our job is making sure the students are able to eat on a budget.”

Dining Services Food Service Associate Blake Buska said the panini shop is another opportunity for Dining Services to show its food savvy.

“Many students don’t realize the quality of food available to them from Dining Services,” Buska said.

Melchior said the Aztec Market and Starbucks will not duplicate the Aztec Market and Starbucks in West Commons, but instead replace the existing West Commons locations, opening new space for food options.

The movement of the Starbucks and Aztec Market are also planned to reach more students in the Art and Letters and Art buildings who are farther away from West Commons.

Lee said Aztec Shops will take control of the project in August after the external building is complete in order to finish work on the interior.

Melchior said the design will be similar to the open concept of the recently opened Aztec Market location in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

“We really like the look of the new market and students have responded well to it so we are carrying over many of the design elements to future Aztec Markets,” Melchior said.

The one-story building will also mirror many of the green design elements used in the Storm and Nasatir halls renovations.

“At this point the project has moved along with zero delays so I expect us to be done right on time,” Lee said.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor