Wingnuts to remain on campus until next May

Auxiliary Services is now attempting a compromise for the relocation of Wingnuts and the East Side Market due to the now-definite construction of a new dining hall along North Avenue. Auxiliary Services has not made a final decision yet concerning Wingnuts.

“So much of [Wingnuts’] business is delivery that if they can [relocate] in the immediate off campus vicinity, students should experience no change in the service they provide,” said Rosalind Meyers, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services, in a written response to a resolution recently submitted by the Undergraduate House of Representatives (UHR).

The resolution requests “Wingnuts and the East Side Market [to] be preserved, not necessarily in their present location, but to a location in which they can continue to provide service to the Georgia Tech campus.” The resolution also cites “the close proximity of late night food and convenience stores [as] imperative to the safety of Tech students.”

“We do not want Tech students to have to walk across the bridge to the BP late at night to get snacks or basic necessities that East Side currently provides, and Auxiliary Services is coming up with plans to find a good alternate way of providing that, hopefully at a lower cost to everyone,” said David Moroniti, fourth-year AE major and Residential Hall Association (RHA) Director of Finance.

Despite opposing the new dining hall and the removal of the stores along North Avenue, Tech departments including the RHA justify the plans for construction.

“Brittain is currently way over capacity. Quality suffers because of overcapacity and many problems can be addressed by shifting some demand over to a new dining hall,” Moroniti said in a press release.

“It’s not that students don’t want a new dining hall. The students who live in North Avenue don’t have meal plans, so they need a late night meal option…So long as the service of Wingnuts is kept up, location doesn’t matter,” Jimmy Williams, third-year BME and Vice President of Campus Affairs.

According to Susan Yi, manager and owner of Wingnuts, Auxiliary Services had approached them earlier this week about the possibility of remaining open for the rest of the academic year. Yi maintains that the eatery would still be accessible for Tech students and found a location off campus to move to, after Auxiliary Services first approached Wingnuts. Auxiliary Services maintained that Wingnuts would only be there until the end of this academic year, since construction plans for the new dining hall are already underway.

“The relocation of Wingnuts is projected to be in May 2010 to Marietta Street,” Yi said.

“The original $30 million plan was to have the dining hall in the center of the North Avenue quad, but Tech only has $10 million due to the economic downturn,” Moroniti said.

Current plans indicate that the new 20,000 square-foot residential dining facility will seat approximately 300 people and include late night operation and an outdoor dining patio. The construction will also include an assessment and revamp of accessibility to North Avenue and the dining hall. Construction will begin in May 2010, and the new dining hall will be complete by July 2011.