OXFORD, Miss. – All food service locations in the new portion of the Ole Miss Student Union – including Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Qdoba, Which Wich, and McAlister's Deli – recently opened to the University of Mississippi community.
The opening is an important milestone for the project, which, when complete, will expand the facility from 97,000 square feet to 173,000 square feet, said Larry Sparks, UM vice chancellor for administration and finance.
"We're pleased to open the food service portion of the Union," Sparks said. "While there's still work to be done, we're proud of what this represents for our university community and, most importantly, our students."
The additional dining locations have created nearly 250 jobs for students and local community members, said Clay Jones, assistant vice chancellor for administration and human resources.
"Throughout the summer, Ole Miss Dining Services worked diligently to hire and train personnel who are eager to provide a positive dining experience for our campus community," Jones said. "They're excited to begin work and we're glad to offer a wide array of choices, thanks to our new vendors."
As workmen continue the finishing touches of Phase 2, students said they can already see their new space coming to life.
Dale Hall, a senior biology major from Magnolia, was among the first to visit the facility. He praised the number of healthy food service options.
“The new Student Union is definitely a success in progress and I can’t wait to see the finished project,” Hall said.
McAlister's Deli is on the second floor of the Student Union and serves as a stand-alone restaurant with dedicated seating. Other dining options are on the first floor in the building's food court and are accessible by entering on the side facing the Women's Terrace.
The Student Union will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Union generally will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., beginning this weekend.
On September 9th, the Union will open at 7 a.m., before the Ole Miss vs. UT-Martin football game, which is scheduled for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
During Phase 3 of the project, crews will continue renovation work on the lower level of the Student Union. Construction is expected to be completed by 2019.