Dining Commons Gets Face-Lift, Needs Supporters Like You
If you visit campus this summer, you may notice that one of Bethel’s main buildings is closed. The Dining Commons is getting a $650,000 make over between May and August. The space hasn’t been updated since 1994, and the student population has grown significantly since then — more than 225,000 student meals are served every year!
A Central Gathering Place
After graduation, a local contracting firm will transform the current Dining Commons, except for the kitchen, into an on-campus “student center,” a central place where students, faculty and staff can gather. The DC will offer extended hours, as well as a friendly and flexible environment.
“We want to create a space that the students know is theirs,” explains Ed Bernhard, director of auxiliary services. “There is an increased desire on the part of students for a customized culinary experience. While this is difficult when trying to feed large groups of students, the newly renovated facility will provide the ability to address much of the emerging individuality of the consumer.”
More Seating, More Choices
The renovation will also provide the means to offer students healthier food choices. After receiving their food, students will enter into the new dining room, which will feature natural colors and lighting to increase aesthetic appeal. The flooring and seating will also be updated, and tables will seat about 400 individuals, an increase of nearly 100 additional seats. A portable stage will be brought into the space when needed, maximizing student use when it is not. On the left side of the eating area, a new “café-style” area will become home to bistro tables, booths and room dividers where students can temporarily escape the busyness of campus life.
Add to the History, Join the Partnership
Originally built in 1978, the Campus Center Building was designed to feed 300 students. In 1994, a significant addition was added to double the dining room and create two lower classrooms. The dining commons was the site of the revival which sparked “Bethel anew” that year. In 1999, the name was changed to Dining Commons.
In 2011 the Dining Commons will change again, with help from Sodexo, the campus food provider, and Bethel College supporters like you. Would you consider making a gift or pledge toward the new renovation? The goal is to have this space ready for the fall semester.