Construction Underway for New Campus Dining Center at Cal Maritime

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Cal Maritime has broken ground for a new, state-of-the-art campus dining center to replace a dining hall that has been in operation since 1954. Designed by Flad Architects, the project includes a number of sustainable systems and will provide a much-needed update to the cadets' dining experience.

The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) has broken ground for a new campus dining center to replace an outdated dining hall that has been in operation since 1954.

Designed by Flad Architects, this state-of-the-art, 24,000-square-foot facility will provide a much-needed improvement for the campus. The current dining hall was built to serve about 130 cadets; with today’s student population at nearly 900 there was great need for expanded seating, modern preparation facilities, and an updated servery experience.

“Eleven years ago when I first arrived on campus, one of the most frequently heard criticisms of campus by students concerned their food service," said Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt. "The current dining hall had been in constant operation for more than 55 years with little or no renovation or modernization. Accordingly, it was difficult to make a substantive improvement in the dining experience noticed by students when their surroundings were so antiquated. Today we are beginning to address that long-standing need with this groundbreaking that will result in beautiful surroundings and contemporary food service facilities.”

The new facility will include two stories and a mezzanine level. The lower level and mezzanine seat up to 450 students at one time, while the second level can accommodate 300 people as one large space or be divided into three separate meeting rooms.

Sustainability is embodied in this project – a significant challenge for food service operations given the high energy demands of this equipment-intensive environment. The dining center’s design features several well-integrated passive energy conservation strategies including efficient radiant heating in the floors, natural ventilation, and shading to reduce solar heat gain from south-facing glass while preserving views toward the Carquinez Strait. The facility will also incorporate a water-extraction system for food waste, which will reduce volumes by 80 percent.

These features and others have earned the project recognition as the 2012 Best Practice Award Winner for Overall Sustainable Design from the California Higher Education Energy and Sustainability Program.

“Flad is proud to be part of this exciting, award-winning project, which was the result of a highly collaborative process engaging the campus, Office of the Chancellor, consultants, and general contractor,” said Andrew Cunningham, Principal at Flad Architects. “The creative integration of functional sustainability is testament to the energy and passion that the team invested in the design.”

The project also involves relocation of the campus bookstore, which was previously residing in a temporary building on the site of the new dining center. An existing 3,000-square-foot brick building will be renovated to give the store a permanent home.

The new dining center is scheduled to open for the Fall 2013 semester.

About Flad Architects
Flad Architects ( specializes in the planning and design of innovative facilities for healthcare, higher education, and science and technology clients. With offices throughout the United States, Flad is a nationally recognized leader in serving the complex needs of knowledge-based organizations.

About Cal Maritime
The California Maritime Academy ( is a unique campus of The California State University preparing students for successful careers in the fast-paced and exciting fields of international business and logistics, marine engineering technology, global studies and maritime affairs, marine transportation, mechanical engineering, and facilities engineering technology. Residing on a compact but scenic waterfront campus in Vallejo, California, Cal Maritime is located 30 miles northeast of San Francisco.

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Mary Hirsch
Flad Architects
(608) 232-1275
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