New dining center Friley Windows project underway


The Student Wellness Center, which is located in Friley Hall, will be utilizing the $300,000 Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant that Iowa State was awarded this year. 

Ashley Green

A new ISU dining center is in the works and is expected to open in time for the 2017-18 academic school year. Dubbed “Friley Windows,” the dining center will be located in the basement of Friley Hall overlooking Lake LaVerne.

Unlike the station-style service available in the neighboring Union Drive Marketplace, known as the UDCC, Friley Windows is being designed to keep up with the rapid changes in food service and will feature a food court style similar to what is available in the Memorial Union.

Meal bundles, as well as separate grab-and-go items that will be purchasable with dining dollars or cash, will make up the menu.

A coffee bar is a possibility that is being discussed as well and is a feature that keeps in mind students who would otherwise have to trek across campus for premium drinks.

“We don’t have anything over in this neighborhood [Union Drive] for all of the students that live here,” said Kristin Patel, assistant director for retail for ISU Dining.

Former students and faculty members may recall that Friley Windows was previously in service before 2003, the year the UDCC opened and introduced advances in food services that rendered the outdated food court unnecessary.

“It was absolutely nothing like what students would experience today,” said Brittney Rutherford, marketing coordinator for ISU Dining, “Food service has changed dramatically in the last decade.”

Friley Windows consisted of two dining rooms, one located in what students have nicknamed “the dungeons” and one in what is now a student recreation space. The new Friley Windows will take advantage of this unused space rather be built in a new spot.

The project has a prospective budget of $6.2 million and is still in the design phase of planning. After planning, a 12 month construction period will begin, and the Union Drive area will see an additional 200 to 300 possible dining seats. These seats will help alleviate high traffic in the area as well as accommodate the influx of students that are to come with the Buchanan 2 project.

Enrollment rates have increased by almost 10,000 students since the former Friley Windows closed in 2003, and the campus must adjust for the amount of students now and in the future.

Students are looking forward to the finished product.

“Sometimes it gets busy in the UDCC or Seasons, and Friley is the biggest dorm on campus,” said Ezra Iliff, a sophomore in engineering. “Having their own dining center would help during busy hours.”