Bartels Gets a Makeover: New Marketplace Features


Karina Krul, Student Life Editor

The University of New Haven, with the opening of fall semester, will be unveiling new renovations to the Bartels Marketplace. The renovations come after two rounds of surveys, sent out to the campus community, provided feedback regarding the current marketplace.

Gordon Hayes, general manager of Dining Services at the University, explained that many students expressed concern over various current policies, including the ala cart lunch, the limited options on the weekends, and the hours of operation. These concerns prompted meal plan reform, which acted as the driving force for renovations to the dining and serving areas.

“The meal plans were the start of the solution,” said Hayes. “Once we started talking about changing the meal plan we started talking about changing the serving to accommodate. The dining program as a whole, making it interactive and student driven, this is a great reaction to a conversation starting last year.”

Meal plans were revamped to include more extensive options for commuter and graduate students, as well as lunch now being a meal swipe, rather than a la carte.

The larger renovation came with the altering of the Marketplace to accommodate such changes to the meal plan. The renovations were described by Lou Annino, associate vice president for facilities, as “very high level” and “about a million dollar investment.”

“It was a complete renovation of the server areas and the dining spaces; certainly to gain efficiencies, to provide more options, and to provide specialty options,” said Annino.

The renovations focused on providing more options to students as well as creating a better flow of service in the dining room. A ‘Simply Serving’ station was added to accommodate students with more specific dieting restrictions. The station consists of food which eliminates eight of the ten food allergens, including tree nuts and gluten.

There is careful consideration in the preparing, cooking, and serving process to avoid cross contamination. The various other stations were retained, including the vegetarian/vegan station, the Tex-Mex station, and the Chef’s choice stations. One of the Chef’s choice stations was moved into the dining area in an attempt to decrease traffic flow in the serving area.

“In general, you want to be refreshing your food on a fairly routine basis. The marketplace was about ten years old, it was due for a refresh,” said Annino.
Along with renovations to the food stations to increase options, the hours of each station were altered to allow more options around the clock. Previously, there was very little selection available during the late afternoon, but now three more stations will be open from 2-4:30pm. There are also more stations open on the weekends. The Marketplace hours were also altered to accommodate a larger variety of student. It is now open from 7am-8pm Monday-Friday and until 8pm on the weekends.

“If you look at the total change, I think that is where everyone is going to look at it and feel the change has been huge and very dynamic,” said Hayes. “It’s colorful and very attractive. The seating has changed to accommodate all people. It’s the appearance that is the most encouraging.”

The Marketplace will be open to students by Wednesday, when the meal plans officially begin. While the original target date was late last week, Hayes explained that there were last minute technicalities, including moving equipment, which prevented the Health Department from performing their final expectation. Hayes expressed his confidence that there would be no problem opening on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty special. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Annino.