Bidding Farewell to Croatan
By Christine Neff
The ECU community said goodbye to a campus landmark May 1 with free food, prizes and a going-away cake.
The farewell party was held in honor of the Croatan dining hall, which served its last students May 7. Located on the eastern side of campus near Brewster and the Rivers Building, the Croatan was scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new 18,000 square-foot, two-story dining location.
Joyce Sealey, food service director at ECU, said the university is excited about the project. “With enrollment increasing, we needed more dining options. We had no room to expand, so this was the logical place to put a new building,” she said.
The new structure will more than double the size of the former Croatan, built in 1970. The location had long been a hub for students and faculty members seeking snacks and meals in between classes.
It served about 3,000 customers per day.
When its doors closed on May 7, the Croatan was stripped of tables and equipment to prepare for a June demolition. The Chick-fil-A Express will reopen in the fall at Destination 360 in the Mendenhall Student Center.
The new building, which will open by January 2011, will house two foodservice brands, Chili’s Too and an expanded Chick-fil-A Express. Private and public dining areas will be available on the first floor; the second floor will house Chili’s Too, where customers can order at a counter and dine in a restaurant seating area.
Sealey said she hoped the different dining options attract more customers from both on and off campus. “The Chili’s Too will be our first restaurant concept, and we’re all excited about that,” she said.
The structure will also be the first LEED-certified building on campus, Sealey said. LEED ratings measure the environmental sustainability of a building. LED-lighting, water cisterns in the courtyard and ecologically friendly landscaping are among the features planned for the project.