Pizza Hut joins food court

(Ball State Daily News – Front Page (lead story) – May 27, 1992)

Staff Reporter

Pizza Hut Express will join four other food vendors in the new food court being built this summer to replace Wendy’s restaurant in the Student Center, university officials said.

Although Wendy’s is scheduled to close June 5 with demolition and construction to start soon after, there is no guarantee the food court will be open for business on the first day of classes, Student Center director Bruce Morgan said.

“We have to rely on independent contractors,” Morgan said. “To speed up the construction process, we’ve broken the demolition and construction into different contracts.”

Burger King will replace Wendy’s as the large food vendor in the court and will feature the full national menu, associate vice president of student affairs Barb Jones said.

Jones said Pizza Hut Express will serve personal pan pizzas and bread sticks, and Taco Bell will provide the students’ top food of choice according to surveys.

“This has been a student-driven effort,” Morgan said.

The idea of a food court in the Student Center dates back seven years to the Wendy’s arrival, Morgan said.

Construction of the food court will separate the outlets into two sections, Burger King and Taco Bell will be on the south side (currently occupied by Wendy’s) with removal of an east wall to accommodate the installation of a Pizza Hut Express. the second area, located on the north side entrance will house Baskin Robbins and Gretel’s Bakery Shop.

Morgan said Gretel’s Bakery will serve pastries, cookies, cinnamon rolls and possible fresh fruit.

“Gretel’s is an in-house bakery. Everything will be fresh,” Jones said. “The bakery will test our market and provide what Ball State wants,” Morgan said.

To give the food court a more open feeling, remodeling of the brown tiled area of the lower level of the first floor will coincide with construction. “We wanted to get rid of the “cave feeling” Jones said.

The remodeling will concentrate on removing non-structural walls and lightening the area, said Jones.

A portion of the first floor corridor will be closed during construction. Jones said there will be a problem getting to On The Ball and special arrangements will be made for disabled students.

Jones and Morgan said disabled individuals should go to the hotel desk and make arrangements to be escorted through the construction area to access On The Ball. Access to Career Services and Student Legal Services may also be affected by construction.

The food court will increase on-campus employment. “ARA(the company managing the restaurants) will be employing students and will be going though Career Services,” said Jones. The company may also work with out food management program to create a program for internships.

“This is jobs for students,” said Morgan. “A lot of ARA managers were former student employees.”

ARA Services is also interested in pursuing an environmentally sound establishment. “They have a very active environmental program,” said Jones. ARA has expressed a desire to tailor its environmental program to suit the campus needs.


While the food court construction is underway, Dining Services will be providing a food outlet based in the southeast corner of the Tally.

“We move in Monday, June 8,” assistant director of dining services Betty Hays said. She said hours will be 7 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

From 7-1 a.m. the outlet will be selling breakfast foods. These items include juices, donuts, croissants, muffins, fresh fruit, cereal, coffee, tea, milk, sodas and mineral waters, according to a memo from Liz VanMatre, dining service assistant director of operations.

Also available at this time will be carry-out entrees. “This is so people can buy their lunch in the morning to eat later,” Hays said.

Summer lunch hours start at 11 a.m. and will feature a hot entree that will vary from fried chicken, casseroles and vegetarian lasagna.