(Posted February 14, 2013)

Baker Refectory, the on-campus, buffet-style dining hall is set to experience major renovations. Soon after the 2013 spring semester concludes, construction will begin to transform the space. While students are optimistic as to what to expect, Hal McLaughlin, Sodexo general manager, presents insight onto the project's specific plan.

Q: Can you explain the timeline of events required to assure the renovations are completed by next fall? Where are we currently in the process?

The project will commence in earnest on Monday May 20. There is a detailed timeline that will be strictly adhered to. This will keep us on schedule for August and the arrival of our sports teams.

Q: Will different food choices be offered? If so, can you explain all of them?

There will be similar stations as we currently have. They will be different in that the new equipment will help us to offer up scaled options that we can't currently. Locations of stations will also be different.

Q: Aesthetically, how will Baker look after the renovations? Can you explain the new design?

Please see the pictures in the hallway near the entrance. These renderings were done almost a year ago. This will give you a sense of what is about to occur. New ones are on the way shortly with some revisions we had to make.

Q: Will the new dining area make serving food faster and increase efficiency? If so, how?

Not necessarily faster. It should be about the same. I think our record in my tenure here is 620 people in the door in 19 minutes. We have 520 seats now and will be about the same when the project is completed.

Q: How much will the renovations cost? Will the renovations increase the cost of, or change student meal plans whatsoever?

The renovation will cost about $2.3 million dollars. A portion of this is to fix some current infrastructure concerns (plumbing, exhaust, make-up air, etc.). As far as meal plan pricing goes, that is up to the college.

Q: Personally, what are you most excited about after the renovations are complete?

Besides the fact that it will be beautiful and something all current students and Alumni can be proud of, I am most excited about the terrazzo floor going away and the new equipment!

-Seth Ruggiero '14 Juniata Online Journalist

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.