Last Updated: 2:23 p.m. Monday, May 16
After much anticipation for fully renovated McEwen Dining Hall facilities, construction plans have been halted for a year. The delays will allow the dining facilities to remain open next academic year with renovation scheduled for the 2017-2018 academic year, according to a statement from Elon University.
"The new construction schedule for McEwen Dining Hall will allow the university and Aramark, Elon's campus dining vendor, to refine design plans and construction budgets for the project," said Gerald Whittington, senior vice president for business, finance and technology returns to campus.
In the statement, Whittington also said 87 days of rain has forced a delay for construction of Schar Hall and the Steers Pavilion.
"We do not anticipate that the new communications facilities, which includes a renovation of the McEwen communications building, will be completed until early fall," Whittington said. "This change in the timetable will allow us to fully complete the academic facilities on this quad before beginning work on the dining hall."
Though the statement cited inclement weather as a reason for the timetable shift on the McEwen Dining Hall construction, the weather affected construction on the School of Communications. Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications, said the dining construction had no relation to the delays in dining facility construction.
"There’s no connection between the McEwen Communications renovation and McEwen Dining Hall," Parsons said. "My understanding is that the dining hall renovation concept was more expensive than expected, and that project has been pushed back a year in order to develop a more reasonably priced concept."
According to Chris Fulkerson, assistant vice president for Administrative Services and assistant professor of communications, Whittington "has the final say on all construction timelines."
Whittington said the one-year delay on McEwen Dining Hall construction "will allow the university and Aramark, Elon's campus dining vendor, to refine design plans and construction budgets for the project."
Elon and Aramark announced its plans in early March for the $12 million construction project during the 2016-2017 academic year to overhaul McEwen’s existing dining facilities.
The proposed project comes at a time when fewer and fewer students are going to the McEwen Dining Hall. Recent university projections revealed the main upstairs dining hall hosts just 250 customers a day.