Alexandria Nickles ’17 is also excited about the plan. “We’re hoping the space will bring the community together and be a place where students want to go to spend time with their friends, not just for food. And having the food prepared in front of us will be really cool. It will help students learn about food and see an overall fresh, healthy approach to cooking.”
Since most of the infrastructure for Curtis dates back to 1967, all of the kitchen exhaust, lighting, and other systems will be replaced as will cooking and refrigeration equipment, which means that energy efficiency and environmental sustainability will be greatly improved. Art Chonko, director of facilities services, expects something in the range of a 30 to 45 percent reduction in energy use after the renovation, possibly better.
After Huffman Dining Hall underwent a major renovation in 2013, its energy consumption dropped to about half of Curtis’s. “I would assume we’ll see similar numbers after Curtis is renovated,” adds Chonko.
Also similar to Huffman, the Curtis project is so extensive that it can’t all be done over the summer, so plans are for the facility to close starting March 11, 2017, to re-open in time for fall semester in late August. A work-around strategy to minimize disruption for student meals has been planned for the last part of spring semester, and the dining options are now posted on the website.