Putnam’s Marketplace Eatery undergoes $90,000 renovation

Students discuss concerns, benefits of new dining hall renovation


Danny Kurland thinks the $90,000 spent on renovating Putnam’s Marketplace Eatery would be more useful elsewhere.

Putnam’s Marketplace Eatery was remodeled this past summer to incorporate more space, improve its appearance and streamline traffic flow, according to Campus Dining and Shops.

Raymond Kohl, marketing manager for Campus Dining and Shops, said the combined renovation of Jamba Juice and Putnam’s totalled $90,000.

The renovation of Putnam’s and Jamba Juice began on May 22 and was completed by July 7. Kohl said that several summer groups use this area, so whenever possible, renovations are done during the summer months to keep disruption to a minimum.

Kohl feels that the renovation was necessary in keeping up with other major renovations on campus like 1Capen and Silverman Library.

“It is important that we continue to re-invest in UB’s dining facilities so we can stay current, and continue to offer modern, high-quality dining experiences for our growing and evolving campus community,” Kohl said.

The newly redesigned dining center moved the soda machines, which were previously located in the center of the marketplace, over to a less congested area. There are also new checkout booths at the side of the entrance. Kohl added that more cosmetic features were updated, included new floors, pain, LED lighting and new digital menus.

Kohl believes the new layout is more organized than the previous design. The main goal of the renovation was to make checking out a faster process for customers, while reducing congestion in the Putnam’s area of the Student Union.

“The initial responses that we’ve received from students have been very optimistic. They’re commenting positively on improved traffic flow and increased speed of check out, as well as the updated and modern look of the facility,” Kohl said. “We will continue to monitor traffic flow, speed of service and other important areas of operation to ensure that we’re providing our guests with the best possible experience.”

Students The Spectrum spoke tpo have mixed thoughts on the new renovations. Some feel they were unnecessary and the funds should have been allocated elsewhere, while other students liked the new design and feel the new set-up is more orderly and efficient.

Daniel Kurland, a sophomore biological sciences major, does not think the renovations are worth $90,000. He would prefer if the money went to the four sports teams UB cut last spring, more space in the food court or better Wi-Fi on campus.

“That’s [years] worth of tuition paid for. I would rather see that money spent on something more valuable,” Kurland said.

The general consensus amongst students was that they're pleased with the final results of the CDS renovations, but would rather have seen the money used for something else that needed attention.

Michael Schrammel, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said he likes the new “look” and setup of the eatery, but feels the renovations were ultimately unnecessary and not cost effective.

“I like way it looks and the set up a lot more than the way it was before,” Schrammel said. “However, I don’t think it was necessary and I definitely don’t think it was worth $90,000.”

Bishal Debnath, a first-year graduate student in the management informations system program, never saw the original Putnam’s but he thinks the current set-up is efficient, particularly the new checkout booths.

“The centralized billing system where people pick up their stuff and check out makes it much more convenient for everyone,” Debnath said. “I think Tim Hortons should also follow suit in their checkout strategy.”

Students that have had experience using the old check out system feel that the recent improvements to Putnam’s created a more coordinated space.

Scott Depalma, a junior business administration major, sees the logistical and aesthetic benefits of the renovation but questions the practicality of it.

“I like how they got rid of the stand in the middle because it created more space and the checkout is much more organized.” Depalma said, “It is definitely more appealing to the eye, but the food still tastes the same.”

Erik Tingue is a staff writer and can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com