Students struggle to sit in FergBy Katie Shepherd | 09/10/2014 11:47pm
Seating is limited around lunch time at the newly rennovated Ferguson Center. CW | Lindsey Leonard
During lunch hours, many students are discovering that it is extremely difficult to locate somewhere to sit in the newly-renovated Ferguson Center.
Rachel Barwick Gnemi, marketing coordinator for Bama Dining, said approximately 4,920 patrons dine at the Ferguson restaurants from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. These patrons have 300 tables to choose from.
To returning students, the Ferguson Center dining area may seem more crowded. However, Gnemi said there is actually an increase in seating from previous years. Last year, the Ferguson Center dining area had 800 seats.
"We increased seating by 200 seats, so we're currently at 1,000," Gnemi said.
Despite this increase from last year, Gnemi said there are still plans to add more seating when funds are available. This is in addition to the seating that is located outside.
"We've added open-air and outdoor seating for 550 [people], more than doubling the offered seating of the pre-existing Fresh Foods location, as well as adding soft seating and high top tables to Raising Cane's," Gnemi said.
Even though seating has increased in the Ferguson Center, some students are still discovering it is difficult to find somewhere to sit and enjoy their meal.
Connor Kirkland, a sophomore majoring in geology, said he tries to avoid the Ferguson Center during peak lunch hours so he can more easily find a seat.
"Whenever I come, there's usually a table, but I normally come later," Kirkland said. "It's still crowded at 1 p.m., so I can only imagine how crowded it would be at noon."
Though he is usually able to find a table after a little bit of searching, Kirkland said it does feel more crowded than last year.
"I do feel like there's fewer seats," Kirkland said.
Alex Stapp, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said he couldn't tell whether there was more seating or not.
"It's hard to say," Stapp said. "It feels like less, but I think there's more."