Swarthmore College
swarthmore dining center

Construction Zone: Cafeterias/Dining Facilities

Feb. 3, 2023

New dining space opens at George Washington University

George Washington University in Washington, D.C., has opened new dining space in Shenkman Hall after supply chain problems pushed back its reopening for months.

The GW Hatchet reports that the new space will have a breakfast station with cereals, bagels, self-serve waffles and other options that can be accessed throughout the day, as well as an allergy-free Pure Eats station, Teaching Kitchen, Carvery/Innovate, Grill, Sweet shop and a salad bar.

Officials originally planned to open the Shenkman dining hall in the fall but delayed the reopening because of “global supply chain issues.”

“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we transitioned these past couple of months through construction delays toward a full on-campus dining program,” said Douglas Frazier, executive director of dining services. “We are excited that this spring that you will be able to experience a daily variety of healthy, convenient and, most importantly, affordable meal choices.”

The dining hall can seat 450 students and serve 1,350 people per meal period via a variety of table sizes.

The university says the new dining space is a part of its transformation from a full retail model to a community-focused residential model of dining. George Washington is offering six different meal plans for the 2022-23 academic year. That includes three unlimited meal plans where the swipe of a card enables students to eat whatever and whenever they feel like in the dining halls.


Proposed high school overhaul in Mundelein, Ill., would modernize cafeteria and kitchen

The Mundelein (Ill.) High School District is asking voters to approve a $175 million bond proposal that would pay for an extensive renovation and expansion of Mundelein High School, including replacement of a cramped cafeteria and outdated kitchen.

The school district says that because of space and design limitations in the cafeteria, the school must schedule four lunch periods—from 10:15 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.—to accommodate the 2,200 students.

The school was built in 1958, and the original cafeteria is the same space the school now uses. The kitchen also is outdated and does not meet student needs.

The proposed renovation would provide expanded cafeteria space and enable Mundelein to reduce the number of lunch periods to three (750 students per period).

The new cafeteria also would provide more serving stations and give the food services program more flexibility.

The proposed campus upgrade also would expand performing arts spaces, physical education and athletic spaces and career training spaces.

Voters will decide the fate of the expansion proposal on April 4.


New facility at Swarthmore College reimagines the dining experience

Swarthmore College has opened a new dining facility on the Swarthmore, Pa., campus.

The Dining Center offers students a greater diversity of options in seating and eating: Tables include two-, four-, six-, and eight-top varieties on both floors along, and outdoor seating is available on the lower level. Nine food stations serve an array of fresh and local dining choices. 

The college says the Dining Center provides a re-imagined dining experience that emphasizes community, inclusivity, and sustainability.

The design creates a greater feeling of openness that facilitates more interaction between diners and staff. 

“The setup of the different stations really highlights the food and the staff, providing a way for all of them to interact with our students in ways they could not before,” says Associate Vice President for Campus Services Anthony Coschignano.

Solar panels that cover the entire roof will meet roughly 40% of the building’s eventual power needs. The basement will eventually house a geoexchange plant that is central to the college’s energy plan.

Additional sustainable features include a mass timber structural system that is significantly greener than steel alternatives, an all-electric kitchen, long-lasting terrazzo floors, stormwater management and recapture, and a trayless policy that is estimated to save about 22,000 gallons of water a year.


New dining facility opens at Catholic University of America

Catholic University of America has opened Garvey Hall, a new dining facility on the Washington, D.C., campus.

The university says the 35,000-square-foot dining hall was built on the former site of Magner Hall, a residence hall torn down in 2019.

It is double the size of the previous dining space on campus—the Eatery in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center. In addition to having more space, the dining hall has new cooking equipment, and offer fresher food made in front of guests.

Many of the food stations will be similar to those in the Eatery, but there are additional options: an espresso machine, hard-packed ice cream; omelets served through lunchtime; fresh baked goods; a significantly larger vegan/vegetarian station; fresh herbs grown on site and used in cooking; and built-in water fountains with hot, cold, or sparkling water.

The former Eatery will be converted to a student lounge, performance area, and student offices.

The facility is named for former Catholic University President John Garvey and his wife, Jeanne Garvey. The construction was made possible through an anonymous $8 million donation.


Proposed school expansion in Bristol, Maine, would add space for cafeteria

A proposed $6.4 million renovation at Bristol Consolidated School in Bristol, Maine, would provide space for a kitchen and a cafeteria that will double as a multipurpose community room.

Officials say the dining space now available in the school accommodates student lunch periods and physical education classes but is too small to handle both. School leaders also envision the new cafeteria space as a location that is secure from the rest of the school, with a separate entrance, where community events can be held.

In addition to the cafeteria, the renovation will a provide a dedicated art room, spaces for occupational and physical therapy, and a 1,061-square-foot technology space for STEAM-related activities, The Lincoln County News reports.

The Bristol School Committee has chosen Optimum Construction Co. as contractor for the project.

Voters will decide on March 20 whether to approve an $8 million bond proposal to pay for the upgrade.


Dining hall at Texas A&M certified as a Green Restaurant

Sbisa Dining Hall at Texas A&M University is the first university dining hall to become a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant in the state of Texas, the university says.

Aggie Dining at Texas A&M partnered with the Green Restaurant Association to carry out 39 steps that focus on reducing energy consumption, water usage, waste and use of chemicals. Sbisa also has a full-scale recycling and composting program, and it recycles its used cooking oil for biodiesel.

Sbisa, the largest dining facility at Texas A&M, feeds thousands of students and campus visitors every day.

Sustainability and the environment are very important to Texas A&M, says David Riddle, regional vice president of Aggie Dining.

“Thanks to the hard work of our staff at Sbisa, we have been able to make a big impact in our dining hall,” he said. “Becoming a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant keeps our focus on continuing to help reduce our waste and consumption.”

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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