Hippodrome remains incomplete, students await opening of diner

The new eatery on the Marvin Center’s fifth floor, Dine-a-Vision, will open Friday, administrators said.

The restaurant is meant to be the highlight of the newly renovated floor, but delays in construction have caused it to open later than the rest of the new fifth floor facilities.

First there were some contract and permit issues, then the wrong sink was sent, said Scott Jones, assistant director of Staffing and Student Development. They are really only one week behind, the date we had set was never really permanent.

Many do not expect to see the fifth floor’s full potential realized until all of its new programs and facilities are in place.

I think the response is going to be outstanding, said Mike Petron, chairman of the Marvin Center Governing Board. The fifth floor is already used more than it ever was before. The food concession will be the centerpiece that compliments everything else.

The students need the space, Jones said. Hopefully by January we will be 90 percent to 100 percent complete. Jones was referring to many of the details of the Hippodrome including the menu and the hours.

In particular, I see the late, late night programs as such an attraction, said Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Support Services. He is looking at different programming for the fifth floor in the 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. time frame Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when the floor will be open late.

Swing dancing, comedians and several other possibilities are being considered, Gargano said.

The fifth floor will become the new social meeting place for meals, Petron said. J Street won’t be the only place for students to gather and eat in a social environment.

Gargano agreed and said, I think (the fifth floor) is going to be the hub of student life. It is a place to meet, greet and have fun, get on the Web and chat.

Gargano said he sees the new facilities as a stress-relief zone where students can take a break from studies.

I think it is a really nice alternative to other activities, if you want to stay on campus for the weekend, freshman Sandya Swamy said.

One student said she was disappointed the eatery opened late.

I think it is rather ridiculous that they opened the fifth floor without the diner, Kathleen Ganiere said.

What fifth floor? Michelle Nakagawa said. I didn’t even know there were five floors.

Gargano said the changes for the fifth floor are incredible.

The difference is truly like night and day, Gargano said.

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