University Begins Work on DUC’ling

Construction of the DUC’ling, the interim dining facility between the  tearing down of the  Dobbs University Center (DUC) its replacement with the new Campus Life Center (CLC), began two days ago at the courtyard in front of the Woodruff P.E. Center (WoodPEC), according to Assistant Director of Campus Dining Chad Sunstein.

Site work on the DUC’ling will last until February 2017, Senior Director of Emory Dining Dave Furhman said, adding that interior work will take place April 2017. The DUC’ling’s construction will be finalized immediately after commencement in May 2017, Furhman said. Demolition of the DUC will begin following the DUC’ling’s completion.

The DUC’ling’s construction was slated to begin January 2016, but was postponed until October 2016 “to make the transition less complicated and disruptive for [the Emory] community,” Furhman said. “Projects of this scope and size run a very fluid schedule in the early planning stages.”

Pedestrian traffic will be redirected to circumvent Asbury Circle instead of passing through it because of construction delivery traffic, Emory’s Program Manager of Design and Construction Charles Rossignol said. There will be safety personnel to flag incoming vehicles in the construction area around Asbury Circle, he added.

The DUC’ling layout will be more efficient than that of the current DUC, with approximately 500 seats and only one level, Sunstein said.

Preparations for CLC construction will begin as early as Fall 2017, with completion projected for Summer 2019, according to Director of the DUC Benjamin Perlman. He noted that the timeline for the CLC construction may change.

The DUC’ling’s budget has been continually modified through the design phase and will be modified further as the project continues, Furhman said. He added that design and construction budgets must always have some fluidity based on project timing and the evolving costs of materials and labor.

Emory has considered input from various focus groups, surveys and Food Advisory Committee at Emory (FACE) meetings regarding expectations and needs for the DUC’ling and CLC facilities, according to Sunstein.

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and alumni met with Emory Dining over the past few years, Perlman said.

“A very important point that everyone brought up was to make sure that the interim dining center was still in a centralized location on campus, so it will be just across the street from the current DUC,” Perlman said. “Many students dine in the DUC, so it’s important not to lose anything but to improve upon everything we have.”

Students have voiced mixed expectations for the DUC’ling and the CLC.

Goizueta Business School junior Mengtian (Lori) Jin said that Emory Dining should use the change as an opportunity to adjust food quality and variety at the DUC’ling and CLC. She suggested adding more Asian options to the menus.

“I just hope the new CLC will be worth our money,” College sophomore Anna Wang said.

The DUC’ling’s first guests will arrive for the Georgia State Summer Games for the Special Olympics of Georgia (SOGA), which will be held at Emory May 2017, Sunstein said.