Panda Express approaches grand opening

White walls in the Guillot University Center represent the beginning of construction on UNA Dining’s newest project on UNA’s campus, Panda Express.

Panda Express will be to the right of Moe’s Southwest Grill.

Panda Express will also take up part of the old Student Government Association offices. This space is currently used for small group meetings, so the groups will have to find a new location, said UNA Food Services Shared Governance Committee member Jordan Cooper.

UNA Dining had to push the opening date back while the state approved the building plans for the restaurant, said Susan Breer, director of UNA Dining.

UNA Dining and Panda Express submitted a new plan, which the state approved the week of Feb. 13. Construction began in the GUC Feb. 27 when workers blocked off an area of the atrium. UNA Dining is working with Panda Express on a construction timeline, Breer said.

“We will be sure to keep (students and faculty) up to date throughout our development process,” Breer said. “We’re excited for growth, and we hope you are as well.”

Some students have said they are excited to see the addition of dining options at UNA.

Freshman Harley Miller said UNA needs additional places to eat because dining at Moe’s Southwestern Grill and Burger 256 is “getting old.”

“I’ve been anticipating Panda more than I anticipated Moe’s,” Miller said.

Sophomore Charles Lieb said he is ready for construction to finish to benefit the students who enjoy the restaurant chain’s food.

“I honestly wish they were already done so it would make getting Chinese food for my girlfriend easier,” Lieb said.

Junior Ben Schoenbachler said he is not sure adding Panda is necessary, but he is glad UNA is adding restaurants from a range of cultures.

Panda Express is currently taking applications for new crew members, according to posters in the GUC Atrium.