At last week’s Student Association executive council meeting, Vice President of Finance Jessica Rappaport announced that a $4,950,677 renovation is in the works for Clinton Dining Hall.

Rappaport, as the VP of finance, sits on the College Auxiliary Services Board of Directors along with three other members of the SA and two other students. CAS is the organization that handles affairs of the dining halls. Other CAS services include on-campus laundry, the SA shuttle, on-campus cable television, the College Store, Cardinal Cash and the Cardinal Card.

Rappaport said voting members of the board include six students and six faculty members, and there are others on the board who don’t vote.

A CAS board presentation document dated Oct. 1 said Clinton construction will begin April 2017.

To ensure optimum organization, the project will run on a phasing basis, in which phase one will entail renovating the existing dining room.

CAS Executive Director Wayne Duprey said the doors at the foot of the stairs will be removed, and a new salad bar will be the first thing students see.

He said Clinton Dining Hall will remain open during its renovation. With almost 480 seats compared to the Sundowner’s 281, Duprey said CAS “can’t just close it (Clinton).”

He said part of the new renovation will include an allergen-free zone, which he described as “a self-contained area.”

“Anything served there will be free of the primary allergens, and of course, the main allergen we’re concerned about is gluten,” Duprey said.

The presentation document reported that there will be four key serving stations: an American station, a pizza station; an Asian grill station; and a salad, fruit, grain and soup bar.

In phase two, when construction crews should begin work September 2017 and finish July 2018, they will renovate part of the serving area. In addition, the new dining room should be completed, and new beverage and condiment counters should be completed as well.

Duprey said that during construction, walls will separate construction areas from food-service areas to ensure food safety.

Phase three, Duprey said, includes new bathrooms at the downstairs level in addition to more kitchen renovations.

He said the dining hall will have an Adirondack theme after renovation, tentatively incorporating stone and other materials into the existing structure.

“You’ll see more wood built into the design,” Duprey said.

Plattsburgh State sophomore Nathan Mausert said he didn’t know the dining hall would be renovated before the interview, but it didn’t surprise him.

“I feel like Plattsburgh is fine with renovating certain commodities that students value,” he said.

Mausert said he noticed this with Hawkins Pond, as it wasn’t something he valued in renovation, but after it opened up again, he began to see its value as part of the community.

He also said Algonquin Dining Hall deserves some attention as well.

“That’s wonderful for freshmen. It’s nice to be able to wake up, not have to go out into the cold, and just go and eat,” Mausert said.
He said Clinton is the main hub of the dining halls, so the renovation makes sense to him.

Mausert, a vegetarian, said he would like to see more vegetarian options, such as the possible salad bar, come to Clinton Dining Hall.

“When I go to get something, and I’ll look, and they have all these hamburgers,” Mausert said. “It’d be nice if they had at least three veggie burgers, or maybe five, just ready and on the side.”

He said he would like to see better methods of preparing and keeping food in the dining hall.

“The grilled cheese – I tap it always to make sure it’s not stale or dry as a brick,” Mausert said. “It would be nice, maybe, if they had something to keep the food a little more fresh.”

The presentation document reported that the proposed budget for kitchen equipment was $1.1 million as of Oct. 1.

Email Tim Lyman at timothy.lyman@cardinalpointsonline.com

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