Goodbye to the Grill?
New student center construction will prompt relocation of on-campus dining option
By MEGAN STUDDARD
Next year students won’t be visiting The Grill on Georgia Street, at least not in its current location.
According to President James Mellichamp, Piedmont’s Board of Trustees has approved several new on-campus building projects, including a new student center which will be built on land where The Grill currently sits.
College officials are unsure about when construction will actually begin on the building.
“We don’t really know yet,” said Mellichamp.
“We have to get permits and put forward a financing plan. It may happen as late as after spring semester.”
Although a time frame for construction has not been set, it has been decided that The Grill will have to be closed for at least a year and a half.
The new student center, a two-story complex designed with as much square footage as the Swanson Center, will house student affairs offices, a rock-climbing wall, sand volleyball courts, a gym with a walking track and a new cafeteria. There are plans to also include a 24/7 cyber cafe where students can socialize and buy food.
“The cyber cafe will replace The Grill when the new student center opens,” said Mellichamp.
“But we’re still trying to find a solution for the 18 months in the meantime.”
Students are not thrilled about the change.
“A lot of students only eat at The Grill because they don’t like the caf,” said freshman early childhood education major Kendall Newell.
“They don’t need to take it away.”
“I enjoy getting coffee on my way to class, and if The Grill isn’t there, I won’t be able to,” said junior sports marketing major Samantha Gibson.
“We’re looking for an alternative location,” said Mellichamp.
“We haven’t come up with the ideal location yet.”
Mellichamp and the administration encourages students and faculty to make suggestions about where The Grill should relocate.
“I would put it on top of Wallace with an elevator so I could get to it easier,” said freshman Wallace resident Christi Spence.
Newell would like to see The Grill relocated closer to the quad.
“I live in GB and it’s so far away right now,” she said.
The new student center is slated to open as soon as December 2014.
After the new student center is built, other new building construction will take place, including relocating the School of Education to Nielsen Dining Hall, adding a third floor to Purcell and transforming GB Hall into academic classrooms and offices.