Closure of Putnam prompts alternative meal options


The Putnam Refectory, which closed for the last half of the spring semester, is under construction. (Julia Werth/Daily Campus)

This seemed to be the year of construction for the University of Connecticut, and that included the renovation of Putnam Refectory. The dining hall closed for the last half of the spring semester.

The university is working on the construction of the new STEM residence halls. The project extended to major facelifts for Putnam Refectory, which is in the process of becoming a two-story dining hall with an artistic design and new features such as a juice and smoothie bar. Renovations have been in preparation for several years, with a completion deadline of fall 2016.

The dining hall closed completely for renovations after spring break, leaving Hilltop residents at an inconvenience for finding food close by. Dining Services reached out to those students and took their suggestions, eventually coming to the following dining alternatives:

  1.  A continental breakfast offered in a Hilltop lounge
  2. A box meal program with a variety of options
  3. Weekly on site tent BBQ (weather permitting)
  4. Food for Thought university food truck, with ability to use a swipe for a specified menu selection

Additionally, Dining Services added 600 meal plan points to residents with traditional meal plans, free of charge, with six weeks left in the semester.

Executive Director Dennis Pierce said the intention wasn’t for students to use all the points, but to have enough available for the rest of the semester. Some residents questioned whether the balance was excessive, though Pierce said the purpose was to reduce the inconvenience of Putnam being closed. Points can be used in all of the university’s retail food operations, such as the UC cafés and the Student Union Marketplace.

Putnam is expected to be open for the upcoming fall semester, in time for students to move in to the new residence halls.

Molly Stadnicki is a the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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