Hobart and William Smith students are kicking off the fall semester with an enhanced dining experience at the Scandling Campus Center that includes new spaces, food stations and increased functionality. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the newly renovated and expanded Saga Dining Hall at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28.
“From the moment our students walk through the door, we want them to enjoy a whole new campus dining experience,” says Chris Button, associate director for planning and construction. “I think we’ve achieved that goal by opening up the dining space, reducing the impact of the tiers in the dining hall, expanding the availability of natural light, and introducing color and creative placement of the stations.”
The newly revamped facility includes upgrades to the main dining hall and servery such as a larger, more open dining environment with additional student seating and a new common room to support faculty, staff and campus gatherings. In addition to a fresh and modern facelift, “My Kitchen” cooking station doubles as flexible space that could be used as a cooking classroom or after hours study area.
A new allergy friendly zone has been created and includes “Simple Servings,” which provides food choices for those with allergies or gluten intolerance, while “My Zone” has been designed as a “pantry” where food items needed by those with allergies or special considerations can be housed with precautions against cross-contamination. To accommodate the busy lives of students, there’s also a new simply-to-go option.
The project has followed LEED principles and includes elements that reflect the Colleges’ commitment to sustainability and the environment. These features include environmentally sensitive finishes (paint, carpets, flooring, wood), LED lighting for new fixtures, energy efficient equipment, trayless dining and a new dishwasher that saves both energy and water consumption. In partnership with the IT Services, the space now features more robust wifi and more electrical outlets for charging convenience.
Button says the project took direction from feedback received from the HWS community during the master planning process, as well as consultation from members of the strategic diversity committee, student trustees and other student groups.
“We wanted an exciting and welcoming space. One that was fun, functional and would break down some of the barriers common to postmodern architecture,” Button says.
He notes that a new common room was also constructed as part of the project, an addition “that had to be elegant and blend well with the overall campus architecture.” Coordination with the overall Pulteney Street project was also taken into account with this project, and final landscaping complements the overall campus streetscape.
“I think we’ve achieved our goals, and have created an exciting enhancement to the overall dining experience at HWS,” Button says.
The Scandling Campus Center renovations follow last summer’s opening of the Au Bon Pain shop in the atrium of the Warren Hunting Smith Library and the OBC Grill, the Sub Connection and the F’Real milkshake station in the Colleges’ café. These new additions are also complemented by revised hours, allowing students more on-campus dining options.