The Edmondson Faculty Center closed May 16 for a renovation designed to update its appearance and furnishings, improve its accessibility to faculty and better utilize its current space.

The center is scheduled to reopen around Aug. 1.

Robert Cooper, MBA, EdD, vice provost for academic operations and strategy, said the planned improvements are intended to refresh the interior to make it brighter with new furniture, carpet and paint. Partition walls may be moved as well to make the bar area more useful to patrons.

Cooper said that an advisory council of faculty from the Keck School, the Ostrow School of Dentistry and the USC School of Pharmacy would offer guidance on the renovation, operational aspects of the center, and new seasonal menu choices.

During the renovation, catering through Auxiliary Services, which staffs the center, will remain available and alternative meeting rooms for catering events are now being secured.

The changes were spurred, in part, by a Keck Faculty Council survey that garnered responses from more than 400 faculty members. Victoria Marx, MD, president of the council, said the unprecedented level of response showed that “HSC faculty care very much about the issue of the effectiveness of the [faculty center].”

The renovation is intended to address issues of concern to survey respondents such as that the interior was too “dark” and “dingy” and the food lacked the quality and variety guests expected.

Also, since many respondents said they were disappointed by the membership requirement, that has been dropped. The center will be open to all faculty and senior staff members who make a reservation, and their guests. A reservation system will be implemented to allow for easy access to the center.

Marx noted that as the prominence of the Health Sciences campus grows, with recruitment of senior researchers as well as growth of Keck Medical Center, “The need for a vibrant, modern faculty center is growing.  The community has many places to eat but only the Edmondson Faculty Center provides a high-end restaurant experience to gather and entertain guests and visitors.”