J Street gets changes

Students will see changes to venues in J Street and minor renovations in several residence halls, as well as numerous other projects closer to completion when they return to campus this fall.

The former J Street eateries Miso and Baja Sol have been replaced by a burrito station called Burrito Express and a salad bar named The Salad Garden. The District Market Express has also changed its name to The Hot and Not and offers a wider selection of food.

Aramark Marketing Program Manager Amelia Powell said the menu at Burrito Express boasts fresh produce, authentic meats and “tortillas made right before your eyes.”

Powell added that The Salad Garden offers a make-your-own salad option along with a variety of specialty salads, chicken sandwiches and wraps. The District Market Express added a buffet that sells hot breakfast items and home-cooked meals, in addition to grab-and-go fares.

She said construction on these venues began in late June and was completed in early August. All of the new eating establishments will be fully operational when students arrive on campus.

Since the restructuring comes only one year after Aramark completed major renovations to the dining area, Powell cited student feedback as the reason for changing the layout. The food service distributor conducted electronic surveys in the spring to understand students’ concerns with J Street services, and the responses supported a salad bar and more Kosher items, which will be offered at District Market.

Along with the new venues, Aramark will also try to entice students to eat at J Street by introducing an awards system for patronizing their venues.

Powell said the loyalty card program, called “jam,” will “enable you to accrue points for every purchase made at one of our locations.” Points can then be redeemed on the web for a variety of items including music downloads and athletic equipment.

J Street is not the only campus building that has undergone summer construction. Art Bean, GW Facilities Management director of project management, said all residence halls received some sort of renovation over the summer.

Improvements include a new sprinkler system and a new roof in the West End, balcony concrete repairs in International House, renovation of the Mitchell Hall Theater and new mechanical piping in student rooms in the Hall on Virginia Avenue. The building at 2034 G Street was also renovated to house students this fall.

Bean also noted that several construction projects have progressed in the past few months as well. Finishing touches are currently being installed in Ric and Dawn Duqes hall, the new home of the School of Business, and should be completed by Nov. 1. The building will host classes starting this spring.

While the exterior structure of the F Street Residence Hall has been completed, Bean said construction will continue on the building throughout the semester. The project will be available for occupancy for fall 2006.

Bean also confirmed that the University is still planning to begin renovating Monroe Hall, Hall of Government and Quigley’s, in January and plans to complete them during the summer of 2007. Quigley’s, a small former pharmacy located at the corner of 21st and G streets that currently hosts NROTC stores and offices, will be changed into a restaurant venue.

Other projects in the works include a new residence hall on the Mount Vernon Campus and the renovation of Lisner Hall. Bean did not state when construction will begin on these projects.

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