By: Alicia Anthony, Contributing Writer
Photo by Jake Shindel / The Towerlight
Towson University (TU) finished its first phase of a two-phase project for the University Union expansion in the fall 2021 semester, and has now begun its second phase of renovations.
The first phase aimed to increase the space with an addition of 85,000 square feet, which would add to the event and dining spaces, as well as the new main entrances, according to the Towson website.
Regarding dining, the building expansion has created a Union Food Market, which features a brand-new Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, Torta Fresca, In Harvest and Union Sandwich Co. Kappa Sushi, which was originally located on the first floor, has been renovated and moved to the Union Food Market.
For event space, the Career Center has been relocated and expanded. Career Center ballrooms and meeting rooms have also been added.
With the new updates, many students have voiced their opinions and potential concerns about the first phase.
“I’m so glad TU has finished its update with Chick-fil-A, it’s my new go-to spot for dinner,” said Amy Emminizer, a junior. “It’s exciting to have an even wider selection to choose from; however, the lines can be so long sometimes.”
Chick-Fil-A was one of the first of the dining locations to open as part of the new Union, according to TU’s website. It has transformed to become a full-service location that is supposed to handle the entirety of the TU community.
Another student expressed excitement about other dining options.
“The renovation that I am really looking forward to the most is the Innovation Kitchen,” said Brooke Walter, a current senior. “I like the idea of more international options.”
The Innovation Kitchen, which was expected to be completed during phase one, will feature menus and cuisines from different cultures.
Students can expect even more changes to dining locations with the second phase focusing on renovating existing building features, including an update to Paws Café.
“I used to always go to Paws as an underclassman, so I am missing it right now,” said senior Nathan Hopkins. “I look forward to it coming back.”
Other renovations for phase two include creating spaces for student organizations and activities, such as Student Life, Civic Engagement, Design + Graphic Services and Enrollment Marketing.
Phase two is still under construction, and its expected completion is by the fall of 2022.To stay up-to-date on changes to dining locations, including hours and menus, visit Towson University Dining Services’ website.