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New North Campus construction signals future dining changes

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North Campus’ newest dorm, Oak Hall, will include a cafe and District Market meant to cater to the wider university campus. Rendering courtesy of Jeremiah Trammell.

Every morning, North Campus students wake to the sounds of bird calls, their neighbors’ muffled alarms and, as of the past few weeks, the less-than-tranquil noise of construction.

While students may be losing sleep now, this North Campus construction is a sign of more food in the future.   

Construction of Oak Hall, the newest North Campus dorm just west of Denny Field, recently began April 29 and will be completed in the Fall of 2020. This will add a District Market and a full-service sit-down cafe to North Campus, according to UW Housing and Food Services Markets and Cafés Administrator Jeremiah Trammell.

The cafe will replace the current North Campus convenience store, The Nook, according to UW Residential Dining Administrator Lance LaFave.

The North Campus District Market is estimated to be roughly between one-half to two-thirds the size of the District Market located on West Campus.Despite its size, the new North Campus market is being designed to provide the same amenities present at the West Campus DM, according to Trammell.

“Our intention is to have everything that you can find at the District Market with the deli, the cafe, the grocery with the produce department,” Trammell said.

For students trying to cut back on processed foods, Trammell says the market will also sell natural foods for every grocery category, including breakfast products.

In addition to the market, Oak Hall will include a cafe that is similar to a standard licensed Starbucks store, like the current cafe in Suzzallo, according to Trammell.

“We’re really excited about the cafe component because that’s going to be a full-service sit-down cafe unlike the District Market over here on West Campus,” Trammell said. “It’s going to be a great place for students to go to study.”

The architecture and location of the market will serve to make it accessible and more ideal in terms of price, according to UW Director of Facilities and Capital Development Robert Lubin.

“It’s right out on Steven’s Way, so it’ll serve the residential population and also serve the campus community,” Lubin said. “Whenever we can build a food service that’s going to be available to everybody — that’s usually the best formula … it keeps the prices as low as we can for everybody.”

The North Campus dining scene may be subject to more change as well, as the Seattle-based pizza company Pagliacci’s’ 20-year contractexpires June 2020.

While it’s still relatively early to decide whether or not Pagliacci’s will remain on campus, if their contract is not renewed, the North Campus Pagliacci’s location will likely be renovated in the summer to house another food provider in the fall in order to minimize the impact that Pagliacci’s absence may have on student needs, according to LaFave.

For students concerned that the new rooms in Oak Hall will result in more mouths to feed and as a result, longer lines, the addition of Oak Hall will not actually add any students to North Campus, according to Lubin.

By the time both Haggett Hall Towers close, Oak Hall will be open, partly compensating for the loss of living space by adding 361 beds, according to Lubin. However, the UW’s larger housing plan does include the addition of 650 beds to North Campus.

Overall, Trammell hopes the addition of Oak Hall’s market and cafe will make groceries more available to the campus as a whole.

“We expect [the new] District Market to be more of a destination for all of the residence halls on North Campus,” Trammell said. “As well as the surrounding community, and from frat row, and anyone else in the surrounding buildings.”

Reach reporter Elizabeth Turnbull at Twitter: @LizTurnbull5

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