» By ALLISON KIRK – akirk1@my.apsu.edu

At 10:20 a.m., students were lined up outside the Harvill Bookstore building waiting for the doors of the new Subway to open on Thursday, Sept. 29. They counted down until the clock hit 10:30 a.m. when the doors opened.

Joe Mills, director of Housing/Residential Life and Dining Services, Joe Lachina, senior director of Dining Services, and Jim Shadburne, assistant director of Dining Services, introduced the new Subway by cutting a several-foot-long sandwich.

“I just wanna say we appreciate our partnership with Chartwells. We’re excited to be able to offer this opportunity to our students. You guys asked for it and we delivered,” Mills said.

To change Austin’s into a Subway they first had to coordinate with Subway to meet Subway’s specifications.

They had to make sure all the decorations were the same as in any other Subway, but kept utility connections the same for the new equipment. Not much work was done to the floorplan. However, in the “back of the house,” they had to install all new equipment to meet Subway’s standards.

“I think it’s great, it’s a healthier option [than Austin’s],” said Daniel Milner, a student at APSU. “I love the [new dining] options. The new burger place is fantastic.”

Many changes have been made to on-campus dining options since last semester: remodeling the food court, introducing Zona Mexicana and Grill Nation, updating Chick-fil-A, removing the drink coolers and adding another soda fountain station, adding a fourth register, opening Subway and putting a snack shop in Castle Heights residence hall.

Future plans are underway to put a Starbucks in the library. It will be started at the end of this semester and students will have access to it by the middle of Spring 2012.

Chartwells surveyed the students, faculty and staff in search of finding a replacement for Austin’s.

Subway ranked the highest and was chosen.

Its location and operating hours helped finalize the idea, because it is a late night venue. This survey is how the dining options were also chosen.

“We made each change with the hope that it would improve our ability to offer quick service and a varied menu in an efficient space,” said Cecil Wilson, assistant director of Housing and Dining Services.

The improvements did not cost the university anything.

It was all paid for by the investments to the dining program, which was made possible due to APSU’s relationship with Chartwells.

“We would like to thank Chartwells for their continued partnership with the university and look forward to future projects,” Wilson said. TAS