MACON – Mercer University students returning to the Macon campus this fall will be greeted by several changes, including new dining options and additional parking, which are aimed at further enhancing student life.
The University Center (UC) food court has undergone a full remodel and will feature a Panda Express, P.O.D. Express (Provisions on Demand) and a full-service Chick-fil-A.
Panda Express, one of the fastest growing fast-casual concepts in the country, features Mandarin and Szechwan wok-cooked entrées and sides for lunch and dinner, such as beef with broccoli, orange chicken and Kung Pao chicken.
P.O.D. Express combines the corner store with the style of a modern market, featuring grab-and-go dining options including freshly-prepared breakfast sandwiches, burritos, wraps, sushi and salads, as well as fresh produce, bakery and coffee selections and traditional essentials found in a convenience store.
Chick-fil-A has been a staple at the University for more than 18 years, beginning as an express location with a limited menu in the Connell Student Center. Over the years, the Mercer location’s menu and operations have expanded. This year, for the first time, Chick-fil-A will bring its full-service model to campus.
In Connell Student Center, another redesigned food court will feature Which Wich and P.O.D. Express.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches offers more than 50 varieties of customizable “wiches.” The Which Wich menu also includes vegetarian options and several healthy sandwiches with less than 400 calories each.
Connell’s P.O.D. Market will also include Brewed Awakenings, an express coffee bar featuring Starbucks coffee, tea, espresso beverages, bagels, pastries and more.
Auxiliary Services and Mercer Dining have renovated and refreshed the seating and lounge area between the post office and the food court entrance. This area features expanded seating and tables, new flooring, two televisions, wi-fi upgrades, as well as charging stations at many of the tables.
Mercer Law School’s snack bar has been rebranded as Sidebar Cafe, an in-house cafe featuring made-to-order sandwiches, salads, breakfast items, fresh Starbucks coffee and more.
Due to the overwhelming success of its first year, The Farmers Market, located in the UC, will now be open Monday-Friday for lunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and Monday-Thursday for dinner (5-9 p.m.), and The Fresh Food Company in Connell Student Center has expanded its deli offerings to include fresh-baked breads, sub sandwiches and more.
Additionally, a private franchisee will be opening a full-service Subway in Mercer Village later this fall.
The completed construction of several new facilities, including Legacy Hall and the Lofts at Mercer Landing, have resulted in nearly 600 additional parking spaces on campus.
Students entering South Campus from Mercer University Drive will be greeted by a redesigned entrance at Stadium Drive, as well as the new pedestrian bridge from Mercer Landing, which includes the Marriott TownePlace Suites and several restaurants on the block adjacent to the lofts.
A new perimeter street to service Legacy Hall connects Ash Street to the medical school parking lot. New vehicular barrier gates were installed at the Ash Street entrance and College Street entrance off Mercer University Drive. The gates are designed to enhance security and limit traffic on the new perimeter street, which is not intended to serve as a public thoroughfare. Mercer students, faculty and staff will need a valid Bear Card to access these entrances. The Ash Street entrance gate will be closed at all times, while the College Street entrance gate will be open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and for certain special events.
This Saturday, the University will move a record freshman class of 850 new students into their residence halls for the start of Bear Beginnings orientation weekend. Fall Convocation, which traditionally signifies the start of a new academic year, will take place Monday, Aug. 22, at 2 p.m., and classes will begin Tuesday, Aug. 23.
For more information about the many improvements being made to Mercer's Macon campus, visit construction.mercer.edu.