It’s probably a coincidence or trick of perception, but there seem to be more seagulls by the library.

Sunset Strips, the Arbor chicken dive, is gone.

University Center Dining Services is planning a complete refurbishing of the Arbor that will provide a variety of tasty food options and quality services. The new 2,800 square foot Arbor will include a Woodstock’s walk-up window, Subway stand, and a new convenience store. The refurbishing is in the conceptual stage, and UCen Dining Services is expecting approval by the beginning of next year.

If approved, renovations will begin in May of 2003 and finish around January of 2004, costing approximately $1 million out of the $4.5 million UCen Dining Services budget.

Upon reopening, the Arbor will be able to offer healthier food options along with a larger stock of fresh foods with the increase in storage space, UCen Divisional Manager Greg Thompson said.

Sales have been declining since last school year, but the refurbished Arbor promises an increase in its menu options to accommodate healthy eaters, vegetarians and vegans. Several menus continue to offer low-fat orders and vegetarian options.

“We offer services for everyone,” Director of UCen Dining Services Sue Hawkins said. “It’s just a matter of people making the right decisions.”

Students, staff and faculty can choose from a variety of choices.

“I guess for the most part it’s all right,” freshman mechanical engineering major Gilbert Gutierrez said. “I can get a Wendy’s garden salad or a vegetarian burrito at Chilitos, and it beats eating cardboard and stale veggies at the dining commons.”

The new Arbor will also offer a handful of job opportunities for students seeking employment in the new eateries. Current employment in the Arbor will remain the same while the additional two leased tenants will provide more employment.

As for the chicken, well, you can still get chicken strips at the Coral Tree CafŽ.