New 24-Hour Student Hub Featuring Cafe, Lounge, and Collaboration Spaces Coming June 2017

April 3, 2017
Rendering of the new Sandellas restaurant coming to the 2nd floor of the Belk building on WPU campus.

Big changes are coming this summer to the WPU campus – most notably, a large-scale renovation of the Belk building. A new 24-hour student hub will be the latest addition to campus that is fully focused on the student experience. The University recently renovated two other areas of campus to improve fitness and training options for students.

The new hub, which will be located in Belk (second floor, above the dining hall), will feature a full-service Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe, offering a variety of additional dining options for students – from burritos, paninis, quesadillas, wraps, and other flatbreads, to wings. WPU students will be able to use a meal exchange program at the cafe, utilizing meal plans they have already purchased. The cafe will operate until 11:30 p.m, providing a late-night food option on campus.

“I am thrilled that we are able to make such an impactful investment in our campus in partnership with Sodexo…I can’t wait to see the vibrancy that will result from this significant renovation.”

Dr. Brian C. Ralph, WPU President

The 24-hour student hub project is expected to be completed by June

Additionally, students will have around-the-clock access to gaming, entertainment, and collaboration spaces within the hub itself, which will be open 24 hours, seven days a week. The hub, designed for the ultimate student experience with modern, industrial features, will include a 120-inch electronic drop-down projector screen for special events and presentations, a lounge area with sofas and soft seating, a high-tech meeting room equipped with audio/video displays, and much more.

“Based on the many conversations I have had with students over the last year-and-a-half, I am very confident that our students are going to love these new spaces and places (not to mention the food!),” Ralph said.

“We are excited for this addition as it will surely enhance the student experience and the already many offerings we have on campus, such as Starbucks and all-you-care-to-eat dining. This new space will not only provide a terrific grab-n-go food option, but it will serve as a central hub for the WPU student”, said Frank Rizzo, Vice President for Student Life. “As we all know, many college students are night owls and are constantly looking for spaces that cater to their late night needs. With this new 24-hour space, our great students will have that.”

“I’m really excited about the renovations happening on the second floor of Belk,” said student Lindsay Perry. “Many students have been asking for a 24-hour accessible space, as well as additional dining options, and I think they will be very pleased upon the completion of the project. This is something that will benefit all students and will be a wonderful addition to our campus.”

The new hub is ADA accessible and equipped with a new elevator. The project is expected to be completed by June, and is in cooperation with Sodexo, the University’s food service provider.

A Sandella’s tasting will be held for students, faculty and staff in the dining hall (first floor) on April 25, 2017. More details will be released at a later date.

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