Dunkin’ Donuts construction underway, ahead of schedule in Norris


Sean Hong/Daily Senior Staffer

The south counter of Frontera Fresco in Norris University Center is under construction to become Dunkin’ Donuts. The construction, which began Jan. 21, is tentatively set to finish in the first or second week of March.

Jordan Harrison, Reporter

Construction began in late January on the new Dunkin’ Donuts franchise set to open on the ground floor of Norris University Center.

The renovation of the former south counter of Frontera Fresco is tentatively scheduled to finish in the first or second week of March, said Steve Mangan, district manager for nuCuisine.

Construction, which began Jan. 21, will be followed by two to three weeks of staff training before the new franchise’s scheduled opening at the beginning of Spring Quarter, Mangan said.

Norris executive director Kelly Schaefer said the construction would not disrupt traffic to other Norris dining locations, and Norris dining hours would remain the same.

“The way that we’ve got the construction cordoned off doesn’t impede any traffic,” Schaefer said. “It’s pretty low-impact.  It’s an easy flip.  It’s not a huge undertaking in terms of the construction work, but it’ll have a big impact for students in terms of bringing them some additional variety.”

Schaefer added, however, that there could be a few days in mid-February when staining counters might produce a slight smell in Norris. Currently, the Dunkin’ Donuts construction is ahead of schedule, she said.

Mangan said Dunkin’ Donuts will not offer espresso because of the University’s contract with Starbucks but will offer regular coffee and other breakfast items.  New equipment will be installed and the workspace reorganized to turn the former Frontera dessert counter into a Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We’ll have the breakfast sandwich and the lunch sandwich components, so that has to be added in,” Mangan said. “We’ve got a significant change in the flow, so the counter has to be adjusted for that. And then we’ll have a major coffee production going on.”

The hours for the new Dunkin’ Donuts still have not been set, Schaefer said.  She has been conducting surveys through various campus groups, such as the Norris Center Advisory Board and Associated Student Government, to determine when the counter should be open.

“We would like to know when students think that they might use the Dunkin’ Donuts,” Schaefer said, “so we are looking for input on when students think they might visit.”

Schaefer said she thinks the coffee shop is a good fit for Norris.

“We’re excited because it meets students’ needs for value, brand and variety that we’ve surveyed both nationally and locally, so we’re in line with what student feedback has been,” Schaefer said.

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