Changes to Larson Commons beginning this summer

Avery Haag, Reporter

Larson Commons is undergoing a major renovation that started this past summer. With millions of dollars behind this project, a newly renovated cafeteria is on the horizon for South Dakota State University.

Doug Wermedal, vice president of Student Affairs, said his role for the renovation of the building was to help write the documents that secured the financial support for the project from Sodexo.

Wermedal and his team will be supervising the contract as it undergoes improvements. For now, a bid has been put together as a document for architecture and design works to revise listing some changes planned for the future.

The renovation is expected to take place during the summer of 2024 into the school year, finishing during the summer of 2025. This should give enough time to reopen the new Larson Commons the 2025-2026 school year.

Sophomore Garrett Pesch noticed the changes already made to Larson Commons and is already noticing a difference in reaction of the student body.

“Changes were made so more people are going to show up. Although the seasoning station may be a minor detail to Larsons, it makes it more fun and easier to be able to create your dish as your own,” Pesch said.

Another SDSU sophomore, Kelsey Eitzman, had similar opinions of the renovation as well, seeing the difference in the cafeteria as a freshman to a sophomore.

“I notice a lot less people talking about how their food is dry and tastes bland. I think the additions that were added made a big difference in the food. I am excited for what is to come,” Eitzman said.

Some complications may arise during this project. Wermedal saidserving at a different location part of the school year, or possibly the entire school year depending on how renovations go, will be needed during the construction. This may lead to a decrease in students’ attendance to the cafeteria because of the location of food services possibly being across campus during the project.

Many changes are expected to happen within the next few years. One of the changes is the ability to make your own food. Eight to 12 cooking stations will be added to the cafeteria. With a swipe at Larson Commons, you will receive a package of ingredients, like a ramen pack will be able to cook it as you would like.

This change will be beneficial to those with allergies, as they can put what they know they are able to consume in their food. Adding this station will also help with portion control.

A few other planned changes include new seating, food options and a new set up. Wermedal said with all these updates coming within the next few years, Larson Commons should be unrecognizable.

“I think that all that will remain of Larsons is the name,” Wermedal said.