North End Housing Opens Doors with New Complexes
By Alexandria Watts
After months of numerous construction drawbacks and delays, Building D in the North End Housing Complex finally opened its doors at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester. While only some can enjoy the lavish, hotel-esque dormitories in the building, there are two other resources that any Marist student can utilize: a new fitness center and dining hall.
MARIST OPENS SECOND FITNESS CENTER - The Fitness Center, which opened in January, provides an assortment of cardio machines such as treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and recumbent and exercise bikes. The equipment matches that which can be found in the McCann Recreation Center.
The Fitness Center also contains a dance studio space for various exercise classes. The multi-purpose room makes way for yoga, Zumba, and POP Pilates sessions.
“I think the new fitness center is really nice and convenient for those of us that live on the north end,” said Marist sophomore Brianna Coba, fresh from an intense workout at her POP Pilates class. The Foy Townhouse resident additionally shared that it, “definitely encourages me to go more often because it is closer to where I live.”
One main distinction between the Fitness Center and the McCann Recreation Center is that the Fitness Center lacks the strength training gear, such as weights and exercise machines, that is prominently seen in the McCann Center. McCann also boasts a much larger space, but the Fitness Center still serves as a good alternative for North End students.
Coba explained the many benefits of the Fitness Center, which include more fitness classes due to the new area and an alternative space where it may not be as crowded as McCann can sometimes be. Furthermore, she said, it addresses the complaints of students living in North End dorms who want to get a good workout in but do not want to take the 10-minute walk, especially in the frigid winter months
Building D’s Fitness Center is open seven days a week with some exceptions due to college vacations and special events, according to a sign posted on the front door. Students can go and break a sweat on Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
MARIST OPENS SECOND DINING HALL – To General Manager Colene Doughty, the North End Dining Hall acts as a “state of the art dining venue for colleges and the local area throughout.”
She explained, “Marist [is] expanding and the students are looking for more variety. And as we enter the age of the millennials, we’re looking for more variety, more international foods, and value in choice. [Also,] knowing that [Marist is] expanding for bigger and better housing, we knew that the food venue would have to come with that because we just don’t have the capacity to meet the needs of the student population.”
The North End dining facility has a much different menu than the conventional fare of the main dining hall. Flatbread pizzas freshly baked in a wood stove, eggs your way, smoothies, Bustelo coffee, stations for burgers, baked goods, pasta, and salad, and even popular sandwiches from Rossi’s are available.
“We knew that the Marist students were really fond of the Rossi restaurant downtown,” said Doughty, “and so Sodexo partnered with them to give the students what they want.”
As for collaborating with other local restaurants, she stated, “if we see the need, I can’t really speak for that.”
A full list of menu items can be accessed online on a Sodexo webpage that is almost ready to be released.
Students can pay for their food through a combination of meal swipes and regular retail payments such as Thrifty Cash and Marist Money. A majority of menu items like 7-inch Rossi sandwiches, grill items, salad items, pizza, and pasta are incorporated within a Pick 3 plan that uses meal swipes. However, foods such as smoothies, coffee, baked goods, the 9-inch Rossi sandwiches, and extras and add ons, such as roasted red peppers for a chicken sandwich, are priced separately from the Pick 3 and have an additional charge.
The North End dining room itself also hosts many fun and unique aspects. Charging outlets on the high-top tables, a small quiet dining space incorporated into the larger dining area, multiple cash registers to decrease lines, recyclable containers that allow for not only dine-in but to-go meals as well, LED lighting over the counters on each station, and computerized lighting and temperature that reacts based on the amount of people in the room are just a few to name.
Doughty, who just began working with Marist, is most excited to “get our staff on board, to be engaged and provide the best quality students have.”
According to Doughty, Sodexo manages the facility, including the Rossi’s station. They are hiring new employees to work at North End while additionally training staff members that are already employed at the dining hall and other on-campus eateries to transition to this new location.
Doughty stated, “I envision that this is going to be a showcase retail area for other construction on Marist and also throughout the college campuses in our region.”