Park Center faces privatization of three restaurants

By Joseph Barrios

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Private restaurants should be in the Park Student Center by the beginning of next semester.

Student Union Dining Services announced yesterday it awarded Aramark Corp. of California the contract to oversee renovations of the Park Student Center and to have at least one private facility operating by January 1995, said Mike Low, interim director of the Student Union.

"This is the most radical departure in food service that I've seen in 20 years since I've been on this campus," Low said.

The agreement was reached late Wednesday afternoon. An estimated $300,000 will be used for physical renovations within the first year of new ownership, Low said. Another $100,000 will be invested within the two years after that.

It has not been announced what restaurants will be moving into the center, but one will come from a national chain of restaurants and another from a regional chain, said Ron Callahan, regional sales director at Aramark.

The present Garden Court and Le Bistro restaurants will be replaced with the two new restaurants and a third cafeteria-style restaurant operated by Aramark. The final lease is still being drafted and should be complete within the next three weeks, Callahan said.

Low said fourteen employees will be laid off and that Aramark will be on campus next week mid

to interview all the staff that will be laid off. Another eight employees will be redistributed to the Student Union and another to the Scoreboard Cafe. Low said laid-off employees will be given priority when positions open up in the rest of the Student Union's dining facilities.

The new facilities should contain the same number of employees that Park Center now has, Callahan said.

"There will not be fewer than what's presently there. It's always a sensitive concern, and we're well aware of that," Callahan said.

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