Wilson Commons’ first floor is poised to undergo a major renovation. This project presents an opportunity to remodel the Hive, which is currently an overlooked feature of the building. However, with its central location and a new look, the Hive could easily become a popular student niche in Wilson Commons.
The Hive would benefit most from a fresh concept that is based on University wide sustainability efforts and other popular facilities. Dining Services can expand its local foods initiative by selling food in the unique environment that a refashioned Hive could offer.
Connections, one of these local vendors, is by far one of Dining’s supreme accomplishments in recent years. Even though the store itself is small, the quality and variety of food it offers is impressive. The connection it establishes between UR and the local community should be expanded through similar developments. The Hive, while retaining the appeal to students who use the space often, would attract a wider student base if it were to offer similar dining options as Connections.
Dining has actually proposed moving Blimpie to the Hive during this upcoming renovation in order to allow for a new food option as well as additional room in the Pit. Such a move does not address the current lack of appeal of the room itself and prevents Dining from using the space in a more forward-thinking manner that is in line with its future vision for UR.
At the same time, the area would retain a distinctive yet more inviting atmosphere if there is comfortable seating in addition to its most popular games. It would also be fitting for the entertainment center to provide music performances already characteristic of Hillside Caf and Starbucks’ Friday Night Live.
For many students, the Hive has been an afterthought since its move downstairs last fall because it does not offer a unique opportunity to relax that cannot already be found elsewhere. If the Hive were to offer popular foods, performance nights and comfortable seating, it could become an exciting, enjoyable space that appeals to more of the student body.