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New look, new services: Lyon updates Edwards Commons for students’ return

Edwards Commons is serving up safety with style this semester.

Lyon College recently renovated the dining hall, giving the space a fresh new look while adapting services to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Creative Dining is introducing a new carryout meal option for students who do not feel comfortable eating in the dining room, said Director of Dining Services Lorenzo Surrisi. Remote ordering of meals will be available at the cafeteria, the Lyon Den, and the Salty Dog coffee shop by using the Eatable app. 

“The Lyon Den and the Salty Dog will also offer meal swipes as a method of payment beginning the first day of the new semester.” 

Self-service stations had to be modified or eliminated, he said, in order to prevent potential exposure to COVID-19. In areas where self service is still allowed, there is a mandate that utensils be replaced on a 30-minute cycle and that guests use hand sanitizer or gloves at each self-service station. 

“Strict sanitation rules have always been followed by dining services,” Surrisi said, “but with the advent of COVID, additional measures must be employed, including area disinfection using atomizer sprayers and extended surface sanitation.”

In the dining hall, all tables are divided into quadrants with clear partitions, so that students can eat safely without risking exposure. Surface sanitizing wipes are available at each dining position. 

“We knew that we needed to make changes to provide a healthy and safe dining environment at all our venues,” said Executive Director for Business and Finance Joseph Botana.

He said the College had been thinking about enhancements to services, choices and the atmosphere of Edwards Commons before COVID-19 came along.

 “Both Lyon and our Creative Dining partners decided to work together to accomplish both things simultaneously. Our students will soon let us know if we succeeded,” said Botana.

Surrisi said lunch and dinner hours have been extended in order to accommodate social distancing. 

Students can begin using the new dining hall as soon as they complete mandatory testing and isolation.

Surrisi said dining services will also invite students looking for employment to apply to work in the cafeteria, Lyon Den and Salty Dog. Information about available positions will be posted on Indeed.

For more information on Lyon College’s COVID-19 protocols, visit lyon.edu/coronavirus.