Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

After a summer of construction, Sykes Student Union is officially up and running. Upperclassmen returning to campus this year saw a walk-in setup very different from last year’s. Sykes has given its information desk and food court an upgraded layout for students to experience.

The Sykes front desk has been completely redone and is now closer to the front doors. The desk features new granite countertops, warm lights and wood paneling that covers the front. To the right of the desk is the newly furnished TV lounge; new couches, lounge chairs and tables line the room where students can relax or work in between classes.

Largely considered as the most prominent change to Sykes Student Union is the Rams Head Food Court. Last year the layout had all food options available in one area with a shared checkout area. Now, Rams Head has an open space where each food location has its own individual line. Additionally, the Sykes Common Grounds was taken out of the area and the piano has been moved to an alternate location. When asked why the building decided to go through such dramatic changes, Dave Timmann, Director of Sykes Student Union said, “The campus outgrew the ability of the food court to handle the crowds. The area where customers would pick up and pay for food was extremely crowded and not efficient.” Timmann has been overseeing all of the construction taking place in Sykes.

Timmann explained how the new Rams Head is similar to a mall food court. They simply took the food service stations and flipped them outwards to allow for, “a more efficient operation with crowd control and point of sale at each station.” Students can expect to find the same food stations that were in the old food court, such as the grill and sandwich stations as well as the ever popular Chik-fil-A, which is now full service.

Another popular location, Java City, has been moved downstairs to the Ram’s Den and is now known as ecoGrounds. Students can purchase the coffee that they used to get at Java City at ecoGrounds, as well as a variety of grab-and-go options such as sushi and bottled drinks. Alicia Boylston, barista at ecoGrounds, said that she enjoys working at the new location. “I like it because it’s a nicer, bigger space,” said Boylston. She said she has noticed more foot traffic since the transition to Ram’s Den with it usually being pretty busy in the afternoon until 3 p.m.

Sykes will be undergoing one more major renovation this fall with the construction of the pergola. The pergola is a new outdoor feature that wraps around the side of Sykes, complete with picnic benches for guests to enjoy the outdoors. The pergola is expected to be complete by late October.

For questions concerning the Sykes reconstruction, Timmann can be reached at DTimmann@wcupa.edu.

Taylor Stenroos is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a writing track with minors in journalism and French. They can be reached at TS833344@wcupa.edu.

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One thought on “WCU renovates Sykes Student Union for new year”
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