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A facelift for Newell Dining Hall


Pizza dough, donuts and delis, oh my! Improved systems and expanded services are the key components of a $7.5 million renovation project on the Newell Dining Hall.

The renovation will create a more open floor plan on the second-floor dining hall to give guests a view of food preparation and provide space for new menu options. A retail deli will be added near the upstairs entrance, offering premium-quality branded menu items and late-night hours. A full-service bakery will also be installed, serving freshly made cookies, cakes, pastries and breads. The il forno pizza oven will be moved into the serving area so diners can watch pizzas be prepared, and expanded “action stations” in the middle of the servery will offer a wider variety of cooked-to-order items. The facility’s kosher kitchen will also be expanded to more than twice its current size.

“We’re taking the services that are most popular with diners and incorporating them into our operations on this side of campus,” said John Brady, Dining Services director of operations. “There will be a new made-to-order salad and soup option in the Den, and the new retail deli and bakery options upstairs will be added to Tapingo so diners can order sandwiches, deli platters or birthday cakes from their phone or desk top and pick it up in Newell.”

The upstairs dining and tray return areas will also be updated. The cathedral dining room—original to the building’s 1914 construction—will be outfitted with long communal dining tables in homage to the building’s history. The dish room will be refurbished to allow the dining hall to move to a more sustainable and cost efficient trayless system.

The renovation is not just cosmetic. Newell Dining Hall has not had a significant renovation in more than 50 years, and structural updates are necessary to improve the building’s functionality. A new roof and windows will be installed to fix leaks, and along with upgraded electrical systems, improve the building’s efficiency. An upgraded elevator and bathrooms will facilitate ADA compliance. Masonry work on the exterior brick will maintain the structural integrity of the more than 100-year-old building.

“We’re maintaining the traditional look and feel of the building by using consistent materials like copper and brick, but drastically improving the functionality of its systems,” said Project Manager Jonathan Lindhorst.

The building will be closed during the summer and fall of 2016 while construction is underway. Au Bon Pain, the LA Cafe and Starbucks (which will double in size after a renovation of its own) will have expanded hours during the fall semester to accommodate diners on the northeast side of campus.

The construction is expected to be complete in early 2017, with the dining halls reopening in time for the spring semester.

Get more information on current and future building projects on the campus construction website.

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