Union Drive Community Center plans renovations after recent fire

Kenzi Mongar

After a fire outbreak earlier this week, the Union Drive Community Center has reopened its dining services and is fully functioning.

Damage to the dining center has been restricted to the Backyard Grill portion, where the fire originated.

“There’s currently a construction wall in the grill area where the repairs and renovations need to occur,” said Annette Hacker, director of Iowa State’s news service. The surrounding dining area reopened for dinner June 17.

Brittney Rutherford, marketing coordinator for dining services, said the dining center venue was due for a new renovation plan next summer since it is more than 10 years old. “We’re still assessing what the cost will be to replace equipment that was damaged,” Rutherford said.

Because the venue was planned to be redone in the near future, it will be undergoing damage repair and the additional renovations for an improved venue. “It just made sense with the damage to go ahead and do the project a year earlier,” Rutherford said.

What the new venue will include or offer is yet to be decided. Managers, dietitians and chefs are creating a plan for the venue for fall. “We’re looking at doing it now versus putting it back to what it was then having to do it again,” Rutherford said.

The changes to the Backyard Grill venue are planned to be completed by the start of the new school year. Rutherford said there will be an announcement if the renovations cannot meet the beginning of the fall semester deadline.

Students will be getting a renovated dining hall a year early that will offer more than what was originally provided.

”What type of food we decide to serve will depend on equipment replaced, which we should have decided within a few weeks,” Rutherford said.