Students in Selleck Dining Center before upcoming renovations

Students sit in the cafeteria for a meal inside the Selleck Dining Center on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Is it true that housing plans to renovate Selleck dining hall this summer and put in a food court similar to the Union?”

According to University Dining Services associate director Dave Annis, the answer is yes. 

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will convert the Selleck Dining Center into a more a la carte style, like a food court, according to Annis. He said Selleck will likely have six different food areas, and dining dollars will be accepted at all of them. Additionally, he said he would like food options at Selleck to be available later at night “to set our schedule around students” and not vice versa. 

The Selleck renovation will begin in May 2020 and hopefully finish in mid-October 2020, Annis said. According to an addendum passed by the Board of Regents on Oct. 25, the renovation budget is $4.4 million.

“I’m excited about giving students new options,” he said. “And really excited about being able to extend them to late night.”

Dining Services has yet to determine what restaurants will be at each area. Annis said he plans to have a breakfast option, and he also mentioned the possibility of having a Qdoba and Saladworks. Additionally, he mentioned considering ideas for a mediterranean concept, a gluten-free concept, a vegan or vegetarian concept and made-to-order sushi concept.

One of the challenges of this project will be working around the busyness of Selleck, especially during lunch time, according to Annis.

“We've got to find a way to create operations that can still get a lot of people through,” he said. “When everything's made-to-order, it slows things down.”

Possible solutions include an option to order on a phone or an option to order at kiosks that would be placed around the campus. Annis said, if implemented, the solutions would help decrease time spent waiting in line.

Annis said he plans to meet with the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska and wants to hear from a variety of students regarding what they would like to see at Selleck.

“I really want to make sure that students understand that a lot of what we're going to do has to come from the students,” he said.

ASUN President Emily Johnson said she will vouch for anything that expands student access, increases options for students and promotes sustainability. 

“I am happy to hear that dining services is taking getting students involved seriously,” she said. “Especially in something as big as renovating a dining center.”

Freshman international business major Maria Heyen said she is looking forward to the late-night dining option.

“I think it will be really cool that it will be open later,” she said. “Because you’ll be able to use your dining dollars that you’ve already paid for at a time that is convenient for you.” 

Additionally, Annis said he hopes to expand the variety and accessibility of similar options in the future.

“It just gives a better value to the student buying a meal plan,” he said.