"Hibbs was never designed to be a cafeteria," says Paul Jez, assistant vice president for business services and treasurer for VCU. "We reached a critical juncture." Hibbs, an academic building across from Shafer Court, has doubled as the university's 450-seat dining hall since the '70s. The new $18-millon, two-story facility will seat 850 and is expected to open in fall of 2004.
Jez says VCU officials met with the student groups about the project. "They were very enthused," he says about the new dining hall, "as opposed to the old dingy Hibbs." The location was chosen in large part because of its proximity to student dorms.
Meanwhile, the student commons phase-three expansion is underway. In December the food court will shut down for renovations and additions. It will reopen in fall 2003.
Surely, plenty of students and alumni will lament the Shafer Court stage's demise, pining for one last Friday afternoon concert.
Not to worry. A new outdoor stage is planned for the grassy area adjacent to the student commons. And the legacy of Shafer Court? A commemorative plaque will be placed somewhere on the dining hall site, says Mike Frontiero, VCU spokesperson. It was a small stage. It will be a small tribute.
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