A larger more robust Grundle

Ah, the Saturday morning Harris-Millis brunch. Stumbling (quite possibly hung-over) to a haven of waffles, omelets and home fries is nothing less than a University of Vermont tradition – right of passage for any student. The Harris-Millis dining hall, affectionately known as “The Grundle” (if you don’t know why, ask your parents – it’s time you had a long awaited talk…) offers one of the few all you can eat options on campus. The food may be good, but the reality is that the ten year old “Grundle” is in severe need of a facelift. “The facilities are outdated for what students want – no bathrooms, old equipment and no air conditioning” explains H-M Dining Hall manager and long time restauranteur Tom Fondakowski. Earlier this year, Fondakowski and UVM Dining Services drafted a proposal, showing just how outdated the fairly new (only ten years old) dining hall already is. The dramatic increase in traffic from 800 new University Heights students eating at H-M sealed the deal and The Powers That Be signed an agreement for the $4.5 million renovation. Fondakowski explained that this will not effect student tuition and that the refurbishment has already been paid for by the Board of Trustees. The new “Grundle” is shaping up to be H-M’s current hall on steroids; TVs, music, and games will all be added, making the Harris Millis Dining Hall into more than just a place to chow down for cheap. Also, for the price of a single block, customers will soon be able to order any entr??e for take out, as opposed to ordering costly food from other dining halls or elsewhere. A new, slow cooking brick pizza oven has also been promised. “We want a better environment for students to eat in” Fondakowski continued, “We’re excited about this. We feel ashamed about the current facility – this is our home too!” he said in reference to the Harris Millis faculty. Duct tape, 70s-esque furniture and dirty bricks adorn the current embodiment of the cafeteria, though you can kiss the retro look goodbye come August of ’06 when the project is aiming to be completed. Of particular note is the new Brain Caf?? section of the dining hall. A new room aimed for studying, club meetings and healthy eating, the Brain Caf?? will offer smoothies, cappuccino, a deli and foods to get ones mind working, open later than other dining options on campus. When asked about the future of the all important “Grundle” brunch, Fondakowski had only the most optimistic words to say: “Brunch will only get bigger!” Bon appetit, UVM.