East Village to offer fresh-food concept dining hall

This photo is a projected ground-level view of the dining hall of East Village. The view is projected from Third Street and Bagby.
This photo is a projected ground-level view of the dining hall of East Village. The view is projected from Third Street and Bagby Avenue.
Courtesy Photo

By Katdie Norton

Most of the green fences and construction barriers along Bagby Avenue and Third Street will remain up for the rest of this semester and through the summer until East Village, Baylor’s newest residential community, is finished.

“There will be a North and a South hall with 700 beds,” Brian Nicholson, associate vice president of facility, planning and construction, said. “There will also be a two-story dining hall located on Third Street so that residents of the Arbors or students at the BSB or the SLC don’t have to walk across campus for a meal.”

The dining hall will be located on the second floor above offices, food preparation and retail space, and will have seating for 500, according to Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president for student life.

“This dining hall won’t be like any of the others on campus; it’s the newest concept in a dining hall,” Jackson said. “It’s a fresh food concept, where the food is prepared right in front of you. You see some stations like that in the other halls, but this will be the majority with roughly five to seven stations.”

What will occupy the retail space below the food court has yet to be determined, but it could be anything from a convenience store to a coffee shop or bakery, according to Jackson.

Along with East Village, students can expect to see construction over the summer on Third Street.

“We will be straightening out Third Street in front of Moody-Jones Library,” Nicholson said. “We will make both lanes go straight through instead of one lane having to loop around.”

The changes to Third Street will lead it through what is now Fort Faculty, the area across from the business school parking garage, which will become a type of “central park” where students can study and rest under the trees — much like the area around the Bill Daniel Student Center, Jackson said. “Most people don’t know it, but behind the privacy fence there at Fort Faculty, the trees are beautiful,” Jackson said. “I envision students hanging hammocks from them and studying there on the grass once this is complete.”

However, foundation work for East Village won’t begin for another couple of months.

“We have several things to do before the buildings go up,” Nicholson said. “We will start pouring foundation in March, and scheduled completion is August 2013­ — about 18 months.”

Buildings one and two of the Arbors Apartments have already been demolished, and all of East Arbors will come down to make way for East Village, both Jackson and Nicholson explained.

“The fences along Bagby and Third Street will remain up until the completion of the project,” Jackson said. “The fences and barriers blocking Second Street should come down by the end of the month.”

Although students will have to deal with the fences and construction for the next 18 months, Nicholson said a covered walkway will be built within the next few weeks along Third Street to provide easier access between the Arbors and Second Street.