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Western New England University New Dining Commons Scheduled for January 2018 Opening

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2017 - 7:07 AM Engineering , All News , Business , Arts and Sciences

Much of the construction of the new Dining Commons building has now progressed to the interior, and the new facility is scheduled to open at the start of the spring 2018 semester. The facility will be all about choice, convenience, and connection to our learning community. Rising four stories in the center of campus, the 75,000 square foot Dining Commons will be the new dining and social destination for residential and commuter students, faculty and staff.

The first floor will contain a Starbucks cafe, the Grill-Works, the P.O.D. convenience store, a bakery, and Firehouse Subs. It will also include a new Bear’s Den for faculty and staff dining, that will be available as a finer-dining experience for students during the evening and on weekends. (think “date night” on campus).

The primary student dining spaces will be located on the second and third floors, which will also be available to cash paying customers. There will be a variety of seating types and food stations including a pasta/pizza station, Asian cuisine, home cooking, an allergen station, sandwich deli, soup and salad bar, and more. The dining spaces will have a variety of sizes and shapes to encourage socializing. Some areas will be identified as private, and can be reserved for meetings or group study sessions. These spaces will have doors for privacy and some technology for displaying information. The fourth floor will have Board of Trustees meeting spaces as well as conference rooms on a fee schedule, and an outdoor terrace for events.

Some of the seating areas will be wired with electric outlets and USB ports to recharge phones, tablets, and laptops.  Since much of the seating will be movable, other secure charging locations will also be installed throughout the building. These will have user-defined access codes (similar to hotel room safes that allow guests to program their own access codes).

Seating capacity will total 800 on the second and third floors. The first floor will have nearly 200 seats, and the Bear’s Den restaurant will seat an additional 52 people, and all spaces will be lit with high efficiency LED lighting. There will be three elevators, one for general public use, and two for ARAMARK to transport all the necessary food and material needed for the new four-story facility. The environmental systems in the new building are high performance, and the overall building efficiency is high.