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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Mashuda dining hall converts to multipurpose area

Photo by Ricky Labrada
Mashuda Hall’s multipurpose room will be $150,000 in renovations once complete.

After nearly 39 years of milkshakes, omelets and desserts, Mashuda Hall’s ’50s-themed dining hall closed last year and was replaced with a $150,000 multipurpose space.

Residents of Mashuda Hall requested the space, which is now divided into a social lounge and a study area, Rick Arcuri, executive director of student affairs operations, said.

The dining halls in Mashuda and McCormick Hall closed as a result of The Commons opening this year, Arcuri said.

“I think the trade to get The Commons and get the study space in Mashuda was worth closing the dining (hall),” Arcuri said. “I would do it again. It’s just been a tremendously positive impact on Mashuda Hall.”

Students across campus are able to access the study space every day at all hours.

“If you look at it, the space is designed so that it’ll be in front of the front desk so students from outside the building will be able to use it,” Arcuri said. “So if you have a friend that lives in the building and you don’t want to go upstairs because one roommate is in bed, but you have a project to work on, you’ll be able to go in there 24 hours a day to work on whatever it is you need to work on.”

Renovations for the new space began over the summer, Arcuri said. He said the project will be completed over Christmas break.

The multipurpose space in the back of Mashuda’s lobby is already finished, Arcuri said. It is meant for studying during peak times and for holding informal student meetings at other times.

Furniture in this area can be moved and rearranged to create study space or more floor space.

“The feedback we’re getting on the (multipurpose room) right now has all been incredibly positive, so we hope that can continue when we open the other part,” Arcuri said.

Meghan Giroux, a freshman in the College of Communication who lives in Mashuda, said she already used the multipurpose space to study.

“I like that it’s an alternative to other study spaces that usually get loud,” Giroux said. “I went with some friends and it’s really quiet because everyone is working on homework.”

Giroux said she has seen the renovation process from the start.

“I’m really excited for the whole thing to be finished,” Giroux said. “There’s a bunch of tables and cool furniture for a ton of people to sit on. When it’s finished, it’s going to be really cool.”

Arcuri said all the furniture for the project has already been purchased and is currently being stored in storage room in Mashuda.

The front portion of the space that faces Wisconsin Avenue will be turned into a living room with soft seating and a television, Arcuri said. Carpeting in this space will be installed today and furniture will be added soon after. The area will be open for students before the end of the semester, Arcuri said.

The final part of construction on Mashuda’s first floor will be rebuilding the front desk and widening the lobby by 9 feet, Arcuri said. This will be completed over Christmas break when most students are away since the lobby will be closed for the project.

Riley Dowdle, Mashuda Hall secretary and a junior in the College of Engineering, said she also watched the project from the start and has seen students utilizing the new space.

“I know as a student I can’t study in my apartment or dorm room, so I often go to E-Hall to get things done,” Dowdle said. “I think (the new space) is a nice option for students.”

Although some students said they are eager to try out the new space, other students said they miss the memories made in the former dining hall.

Mario Walker, a sophomore in the College of Communication, worked in the Mashuda dining hall last year.

“The thing I miss the most, besides the interaction with the residents, is the staff,” Walker said. “The staff of Mashuda was fantastic, and it was my first job, which felt like home.”

Mashuda’s former dining hall staff are either unemployed, found employment somewhere else or relocated to work at The Commons.

Walker said that Mashuda may not have been the most popular dining hall, but everyone who went there loved it.

“I believe if the dining hall would have maybe been relocated to a closer and more central spot, then the amount of residents going to enjoy the food would’ve increased substantially,” Walker said.

Walker said he hopes the new study space will increase community in Mashuda like the dining hall once did.

“I do believe that the study space is a great idea and will benefit a lot of residents in getting outside their room and working and associating with others,” Walker said.

Sara Riegler, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said she will miss the dining hall’s nostalgia, food and staff.

“The Mashuda diner was a staple at Marquette,” Riegler said. “I think all of us that had the opportunity to call Mashuda home and eat in the diner every day will miss it.”

When Riegler found out the dining hall closed, she said she was sad but thought the new space was a good idea.

“Mashuda is pretty far away from the library, so it’s a good idea to open up a study space that everyone in Mashuda can take advantage of,” Riegler said.

Even though she said she will miss milkshake traditions and talks with the staff, she said Mashuda will always be a loving home for Marquette students.

“Even though it is sad that incoming students won’t be able to experience all the greatness that was the Mashuda diner, it’s something those of us that lived there can look back on and be thankful for,” Riegler said.

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