Thursday, June 21

Hedrick dining hall to reopen winter quarter as test kitchen for Sproul's dishes

Sheets of brown paper that have blocked the doorway of Hedrick dining hall for three weeks may soon be torn away to allow hungry residents to enter the closed dining hall once again.

At the start of Fall quarter, Hospitality Services closed Hedrick dining hall, which tends to be the least visited dining hall, to adjust for the increased popularity of Feast at Rieber, said Daryl Ansel, director of food and beverage for UCLA Housing and Hospitality Dining Services.

Hedrick dining hall will be slightly renovated and will open again winter quarter as a test kitchen for Sproul’s new dining hall, projected to open in more than a year, Ansel said.

New residential halls, Sproul Cove and Sproul Landing, are expected to open in fall 2013 with “deluxe” residential rooms similar to the ones in the newly opened Holly Ridge and Gardenia Way.

The dorm buildings will be accompanied by a Sproul Presidio Commons Building, which will include a recreation center and study rooms in addition to a new dining hall.

The menu of the new dining hall, which will feature health and environmental-oriented dishes, will be tested on residents who dine in Hedrick next quarter.

Housing selected a small group of residents to test the menus of Feast before it opened, but Hedrick’s reopening will be the first time any resident with a meal plan can sample dishes before they premiere. The test kitchen will appease some residents who found it difficult adjusting to Hedrick’s closure.

After daily water polo practice in Spieker Aquatics Center near her dorm room in Hedrick Summit, India Forster must add extra time to her commute and walk to get to the next nearest dining hall.

“It is super inconvenient,” the first-year undeclared student said. “After practice, we are too tired to walk up and down extra stairs.”

Many students, however, are looking forward to the chance to test new dishes that will soon make their way onto Sproul’s menu.

“Sometimes there is a lot of the same thing over and over in dining halls,” said Charlotte Pratt, a first-year undeclared student. “It will be really cool to try something new.”

Housing strives to adjust dining hours that will have the most beneficial impact on residential life, Ansel said.

About 1,500 to 2,000 students visit Feast for dinner each night ­”“ a figure 50 to 80 percent higher than Hedrick dining hall ever drew, Ansel said.

“We want to ensure we have adequate productivity,” Ansel said. “We want to try to keep increases to student rate to a minimum.”

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