GSW is expanding its cafeteria - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GSW is expanding its cafeteria

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) – College enrollment in Georgia is skyrocketing and Georgia Southwestern University is one of the many growing schools.

The growth is causing problems you might not think about.  Like at the cafeteria.

At lunchtime, the cafeteria in the Mitchell Student Center on the Georgia Southwestern University campus is a busy place.

"We serve between 700 and 900 students a day," said Amber DeBaise, the Director of Auxiliary Services for the university.

Over the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students signing up for the meal plan here.

"By about 150. We have a lot more students living on campus," said DeBaise.

And that means that the cafeteria can be quite cramped some days.

"We're finding that, especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays, we're running out of seats in the dining hall," said DeBaise.

Now the university has come up with a solution.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) we began a major bit of renovation and an addition," said Steven Snyder, Public Relations Director for the university.

The addition will greatly increase the size of the 4600 square foot cafeteria, part of the student center which was built more than 40 years ago.

"We'll increase the size of the dining facility by roughly 2000 square feet," said Snyder.

Construction projects like this one are becoming more popular on the Georgia Southwestern campus, as the university continues to grow.

Over the last three years, enrollment is up 20 per cent

"As of the beginning of the semester, we did have over 3000 students," said Snyder.

More students means more classroom space is needed too. This is not the only project in the works here.

"We have plans to construct a new Health and Human Sciences building, adjacent to our education center," he said.

And that means that construction signs are going to be more common in the future.

The expansion to the cafeteria will cost about three million dollars and is expected to open in early October.

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