The contractors are helping build a Panda Express, Steak ‘n Shake and POD Market. (Screenshot: UTC, Twitter)

UTC is updating its food court with the addition of three dining options.

Leon Williams Contractors, a Maryville, Tennessee-based commercial design-build firm, will be building a Panda Express, Steak ‘n Shake and quick-serve store Provisions on Demand, commonly called POD Market.

“We are excited to work with our dining services partners to offer these great new options to students,” Dr. Dee Dee Anderson, interim vice chancellor for student development, said in a prepared statement. “The feedback we have been receiving is very positive about these new additions, and we believe these new brand offerings will be terrific for our campus.”

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Megan Corcoran, Aramark marketing manager for UTC dining services, said the decision to go with Panda Express and Steak ‘n Shake came from surveys, focus groups and feedback received over the past year.

“We feel these brands better fit the dining needs of the current UTC community,” she said.

Scrappy’s Place currently offers Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. The new dining options will take over spots previously occupied by Burger Studio, Asian Express, Chef’s Corner and Scrappy’s Mug.

A rendering for the Panda Express that will replace Burger Studio this fall. (Rendering: Leon Williams Contractors)

“We will be constructing three different projects with open food concepts between all three,” Leon Williams Contractors President Jimmy Hawkins said in a prepared statement. “The most challenging part of the process will be keeping the open services functioning while minimizing the disruption.”

Construction is currently underway, with an expected completion date of mid-August. The contractors expect the dining options to be ready for the fall semester.

“UTC is always looking for ways to improve the dining experience for students, and this project will give them more name-brand options, as well as the convenience of a quick-serve store for students on the go,” Hawkins said.

UTC is also adding two more dining options inside the west campus housing complex slated to open next fall.

For more information on UTC’s dining options, click here.

For more information about Leon Williams Contractors, click here.

Eric Wise is a contributing writer. He is currently attending UTC, where he is the assistant news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo. He also serves as the alumni relations chairman for his fraternity.

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