Derby Dining Center remains open through renovations

The Derby Dining Center is in the midst of renovations. (Julian Naber | Collegian Media Group)

The almost-55-year-old Derby Dining Center is in the middle of major renovations but remains open to serve students.

The bottom floor and parts of the top floor are closed, but food lines and residence hall entrances and exits have changed to accommodate closures.

Major portions of Derby will reopened in fall 2020, but renovations will not be fully complete until spring 2021.

Skyler Harper, associate director of Housing and Dining Services, said renovations are a needed change and the updates will make the dining center more efficient.

“We are going to be doing a lot of infrastructure but also a lot of stuff outside,” Harper said. “So the dining experience will be a lot different [and] a lot more up to date.”

The dining center will continue to stay open through the renovations.

For Luis Avalos, Derby student worker and senior in park management and conservation, adjusting to the changes in front or behind the scenes has been a bit hectic.

“There has definitely been a lot of changes. The hardest would be just the shifting of the kitchen,” Avalos said. “I was so used to things being in a certain location so I had to relearn where everything was.”

Jacob Porter, junior in modern languages, said he hopes Derby’s community feeling doesn’t fade away with a new look. The long tables that fit entire dorm floors have some good memories and traditions that he doesn’t want to disappear.

“What I usually like about the Derb is that it fosters more of a community,” Porter said. “I’m a little bit suspicious I guess if we are going to change and be a little bit more fragmented.”