Bobcat Den 2.0 delayed 2-3 weeks

Marcus Harun

Photo by Matt Eisenberg/Chronicle

Past the time when Chartwells officials said the Bobcat Den would reopen by the end of September, officials now say it could be up to three more weeks until students can enjoy their late-night snacks at the Den.

In late August, Associate Director of Dining Services Leean Spalding told the Chronicle that construction delays pushed the reopen date back to the end of September.

Monday, Joseph Tobin, director of Chartwells dining service, said the Bobcat Den would reopen in two to three weeks after more construction delays.

“It’s not one thing [that delayed the project] — it is everything. It’s how construction is,” Tobin said. “Right now all the different trades are doing their final work. We’re just in the final stages.”

Some parts of the construction require technicians of many fields to work together on one project, like the exhaust hoods. Coordinating with multiple subcontractors is a time-consuming process, Tobin said. The exhaust hoods needed the fire suppression system to be hooked up by one subcontractor, an alarm system to be installed by another subcontractor and the electrical system to be wired by a third subcontractor. Then the system will be checked by an inspector and then the fire marshal.

“The general contractor who is in charge of all the subcontractors is good,” Tobin said. “He stays on them, makes them do things right and comes back when they need to finish up the projects.”

The project was delayed further by rain, which has prevented the contractor from putting down new asphalt, Tobin said.

Some students say the increased amount of students in the Cafe Q has created longer food lines.

“One of the poor things is that they are not able to compensate for all the people who come to the grill,” sophomore Matt Liben said. “There is no excuse for people having to wait 30 minutes for a burger. Before it was bad, but it has gotten worse. It went from the point where having to wait for a hamburger was annoying, to where you don’t even want to wait in the line it’s so long.”

But sophomore Theo Siggelakis said the new online ordering system has helped save students time.

“They’ve done a nice job of keeping the grill open later than they did before,” Siggelakis said. “The new grill system has really made a world of difference — how they have premade ready food and you can order online so the lines are a little bit shorter.”

Many students living on the Mount Carmel campus are eager to have their convenient late-night food spot back.

“I’m really excited for [the Bobcat Den] to open,” sophomore Tony Trahan said. “It’s closer to where I am, it is open later — I just like their food better down there.”

Chartwells changed the Cafe Q hours to accommodate the Bobcat Den construction. It stays open until 11 p.m. weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, according to an email from Chartwells.

“I’m a little disappointed that [the Bobcat Den] isn’t available,” Trahan said. “Hearing that it will open within two to three weeks, if they can stick to that time constraint, I’d say that it can wait a little longer. It’s a good thing the cafe stayed open later because obviously kids are going to get hungry after eight o’clock.”

Cafe Q will keep the current extended hours until the Bobcat Den is reopened. The hours of operation of both facilities will return to the same schedule as of the spring 2011 semester, Tobin said.

“We had hoped to have it open by now but there is no reason to have it open when it’s not done right,” Tobin said. “We want to make sure we do the job right.

“Once it opened in a few weeks or a few months, people won’t even remember it was held up,” Tobin said.