J2 reopens for spring semester, but project still has a way to go

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Shelby Tauber

A student waits in line for food at the J2 dining hall in Jester Monday evening. The Division of Housing and Food Service planned for the dining hall to be finished with construction by the end of break but it is stil under renovation and should be completed by February 1st.

Minh Dang

Hungry students returning from winter break hoped to enjoy a brand-new-looking Jester Second Floor Dining Room, or J2, but found part of it still under renovation.

While J2 opened Monday, the majority of the eatery was still under construction. Planning on revealing the newly upgraded buffet-style dining center, the project suffered a delay in construction.

“The contractor had some material issues that took about two weeks to straighten out,” said Scott Meyer, director of dining services at the Division of Housing and Food Service.

As previously reported by The Daily Texan on Nov. 27, the four-phase renovation began two years ago, but the largest phase is this final one, which cost just less than $4 million. When the construction is finished, students can expect to see new grills, pizza-serving areas, ovens for fresh-baked desserts and a rotating spice bar. The project features additional display cooking, beverage space and seating. Toward the end of the fall semester, the dining hall closed completely for renovation but offered students sack lunches.

Meyer said he is hoping for the project to be finished by the end of the month.

“We do expect the project to be totally complete on or before Feb. 1,” Meyer said. “We are hoping for an early completion. We certainly appreciate our customers’ continuing understanding.”

Even though the renovations are not yet completed, students still flocked to their favorite on-campus buffet for lunch. Meyer said about 1,100 students decided to eat lunch at J2.

Biomedical engineering senior Javier Solis was at J2 for lunch Monday despite the ongoing renovations.

“I’m already satisfied with J2,” Solis said. “It has always been fancy yet cheap, but I guess adding more is always better. I just want good food, and J2 never disappoints.”

Not everyone was as satisfied. Jessenia Rucoba, finance senior and a J2 regular, opted to go Jester City Limits instead.

“I love J2 for the variety they offer,” Rucoba said, “but during this long renovation, they’ve lost that.”

Printed on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 as: J2 eatery opens despite renovation delays