At the start of the school year Alma College found troubling news about plumbing issue at Joe’s Place. The issue led to the closure of the facility during the fall term; however, the issues were planned to be solved by Winter Term.
At the beginning of the year students received this email from Sandra Gadde, “Unfortunately, due to plumbing issues that were discovered late in the summer, Joe’s will be closed for the duration of fall term. This closure has brought some logistical challenges that we are working to address.”
As the mid-point of Winter Term approaches no updates have been released on when Joe’s Place would open up once more.
“They haven’t told us what is going on since the start of the year. Though the addition of the Joe’s Retail Store has helped the issue of the closure it hasn’t fixed the issue in its entirety,” said Britney Hamilton (’23).
Since the closure of Joe’s Place, Alma College has been working on creating a new dining option similar to Joe’s place.
“There will be a new grill option similar to the old Joe’s set to be placed in the Learning Commons. The name of the new facility has not been decided, but the grill is scheduled to open in March,” said Micah Barman, General Manager of Campus Dining.
The new dining facility will offer similar amenities to the old Joe’s, such as a retail outlet store and a grill the Joe’s name will be changed.
“The name will change and has yet to be released. We ran a naming contest/survey to let the students name it. The contest has ended, the marketing team is going through the results to decide the new name,” said Braman.
Though plans were set to ha ve the new Joe’s open by the beginning of the winter term, construction on the project is getting delayed by a couple months.
“Construction is taking longer than expected due to supply chain issues,” said Braman.
There has been speculation among the student body upon why the old Joe’s location is not getting fixed.
“The workers at Joe’s told me the leak that shut Joe’s down had been occurring since last year. I think the only reason Joe’s was shut down was because of the introduction of Metz. If the school still employed Sodexo, Joe’s may have stayed open,” said Hamilton.
Due to the prolonged absence of Joe’s Place, many students have grown impatient and irritated with the situation.
“It feels like the school is ripping us off. I spend a good amount of money to attend this school and I hoped to be given numerous options for dining. The absence of Joe’s has left only the Hamilton Commons as a place to get an actual meal on campus. I miss having different meal options on campus,” said Hamilton.
“It is frustrating as a student athlete to have Joe’s closed for so long. Sometimes after practice I don’t want to eat in the dining hall and just w ant to eat in my room. I miss having the option of taking my meals to go from Joe’s,” said Marissa Luzac (’24).
To compensate the closure of Joe’s, the college created a late-night option in Hamilton. However, once the new facility that replaces Joe’s is finished this program will no longer continue. “Currently there is a late-night option in Hamilton to compensate for the old Joe’s being closed. With the new Learning Commons location opening it will offer food later so there will not be a need for Hamilton to remain open,” said Braman.
Overall, the new dining facility will act like Joe’s but with a new name and location.