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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Sayles Café construction: What’s going on

In June 2023, directly after the annual alumni reunion, Sayles Café closed for construction, with plans to reopen late in Fall Term. This is part of a variety of construction projects around campus, ranging from the construction of new dorms around the Recreation Center to replacing the lounge furniture in the Weitz. The end result will include remodeling and expanding the kitchen and balcony and making the pickup stations more efficient. In the meantime, dining hall operations have been shifted and many students have had to find alternative study and eating spaces. As a result, Schulze Café has seen increased numbers of students. To provide more food options, the LDC is offering “Late Night” snacks from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 7:30 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Additionally, a food truck by the Chapel runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. 

Sayles was a common space for academic and social activities because of its ample seating and convenient food and beverages. For those working behind the scenes in the dining halls, the changes have come quickly and created challenges such as keeping track of student employees assigned to work in Sayles, who are scattered all over the cafés and dining halls for the term. Internally, Bon Appétit had to shift its operations and move the employees who worked strictly at Sayles to other locations. This has meant that the grab-and-go operations have moved to the kitchen behind the Weitz Café, which is much smaller than the Sayles kitchen, making the process of transporting ingredients and finished food products more difficult. The move has taken extra logistical planning and is an adjustment for everyone involved. 

All of these extra complications, however, have been handled smoothly so that dining hall operations can continue without interruption. “I haven’t noticed any serious changes in the dining halls,” said Alice Cutter ‘24, a student manager in the LDC who has worked in dining services since her first year. “I would expect the lunch rushes to be more crowded, but it’s hard to tell when you’re working.”

Overall, the Sayles Café construction is an investment in the general functionality of Carleton’s campus; while many logistical challenges have arisen, once the new café is completed, Carleton will have more accessible study and dining spaces and more room for Bon Appetít and student dining hall workers.

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