Table Talk

Eat, drink, and be merry: Having filled their plates at the pasta station, these students then noticed the enticing new sign in the HUB’s dining hall.

The College is midway through a $1 million facelift for the dining facilities in the HUB.

The first half of the project, completed in a five-week push over the holiday break, is a spiffed-up dining hall for students on the board plan.

The second half, a renovation of the Food Court, will begin its makeover in May.

Dining hall improvements include:

• A new paint job (maize with clay accents) to match the rest of the building. New blue and maize linoleum floors, too, to replace the charcoal indoor-outdoor carpeting.

• New furniture: circular tables designed for parties of six and small square tables for parties of three or four, to replace most of the long tables, seating 10-12 on a side, that Mark Kopenhaver, director of food services, calls “Last Supper tables.” The dining hall now will seat 160 in its main area and 104 in the annex.

• New and different food stations in two locations. In the cafeteria line, called “Marketplace at Moravian,” there are four: pasta, pizza, a grill for hamburgers and hot sandwiches, and “Hometown,” which serves comfort food such as meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

• In the dining room itself, a large semi-circular salad bar, a deli, a Southwest station with fresh-made tacos and nachos, and the “Red Hot Chef,” a made-to-order station whose menu changes daily.

The large, cumbersome drinks station in the center of the dining room has been removed. Drinks stations now are against one wall, as is a breakfast bar with juices, cereals, bagels and breads (with toasters right there). In the same area is a dessert bar.

Renovation began in early December, when the food service sent out a notice to all its outlets, including the faculty dining room, that it would be replacing its industrial-model dish machine. This necessitated the use of paper plates and cups for the final weeks of the term, said the notice.

However, as Mark admitted, this was a ruse. While the dish machine, which had been bought used from Eyer Middle School in Emmaus sometime in the ’60s, needed replacement, its removal was just the first step in an overall rehab. Most of the work was completed during finals week and the holiday break, and the dining hall opened to students on the first day of spring term.

It was intended to surprise the students, Mark said. The only people to know what was in the works were the dining committee: Mark Reed and Ken Kalapay of the College business office; Bob Windolph, dean of student life; Ann Claussen, director of student activities and the HUB; and several student representatives.

By contrast, the Food Court makeover will begin with input from many members of the College community, because it serves faculty, staff, students, and the public. Most of the work there will be done at the end of spring term.

It must be done before summer term,

Mark said, because between Alumni Weekend, the Moravian Church synod, and the Johns Hopkins science camps, the dining facilities are busy all the time.

The first and last time the dining hall underwent any improvement since the HUB—the first college union built in the Lehigh Valley—opened in 1962 was in 2000, when the annex was added. The rest of the HUB was substantially expanded and renovated in 1994.

Mark said one reason for the makeover, including the additional food choices and the smaller tables, had to do with the gender mix of the College, which has had a 60/40 ratio of women to men for the last several years. “Women are far more discriminating diners than the guys are,” he said.

The College and Wood Dining Services, our food supplier, are sharing the cost of the dining facilities’ makeover, said Mark Reed, director of business and financial operations.

January 27, 2004

Table Talk:
Improvements to HUB's Dining Hall.

Out for a Walk:
A snowfamily plods across South Campus.

Médecines sans Frontieres (Prescription Without Borders):
Moravian nursing students and professor help a Honduran woman get much-needed medicine using e-mail and teamwork.

Datebook:
A busy campus calendar.

Honor Roll:
Moravian appears in a selective new guide to undergraduate colleges.
Gaudeamus:
Achievements of faculty/staff/students.
Prize Possessions (Ours):
Awards for administrative and support staff.