Ultimately, the university's master plan calls for the construction of a new student building, but with the economy the way it is, that obviously had to be pushed back a bit
Newberg, Ore. (Vocus) August 15, 2009
A $400,000 renovation of the university's dining facility began May 11 and will be concluded in mid-August. The construction project has increased the serving area in the building's Klages Dining Room by 30 percent, installed new carpeting in the Bruin Den serving area, improved lighting, and updated the facility's aesthetics with new wall paint and ceiling work.
In addition, the extra dining room space allows campus food service provider Bon Appetit to expand its menu options. Plans call for the addition of a woodstone pizza oven, a food-demonstration island, and an expanded deli counter.
"This allows us to do things we've never had the space or the equipment to do in the past," said Denny Lawrence, general manager of Bon Appetit on campus. "And, with the cosmetic changes, we've got a much more contemporary look that the university can be proud of. It was a space that was in desperate need of updating."
The Student Union Building was first constructed in the early 1960s and underwent a renovation in the late 1970s, Lawrence said. The new color scheme is earth tones, replacing the teals that gave it a retro look.
Bon Appetit donated $200,000 of the total, with the project's remaining balance coming from the university ($150,000) and the Associated Student Community ($50,000), the student body organization that administrates activities on campus.
Lawrence approached the university's administration last fall with the idea of taking on the renovation.
"The space simply wasn't working anymore when you consider this was built at a time we had a few hundred students," he said. "Now, we've got more than 1,600 on campus. Ultimately, this will be key to helping the university with recruitment and retention. Whereas this was an outdated, tight and crowded space before, we think students will come in here now and be impressed. With better lighting and more space, there's a whole new ambiance."
The food service area was expanded by pushing out one of the room's walls by 18 feet. Subsequent lost space on the dining room side of the wall was partially made up with the relocation of some of the food-preparation equipment, Lawrence said.
The renovation project comes during the 10th anniversary of Bon Appetit's contract as the campus food supplier.
"Ultimately, the university's master plan calls for the construction of a new student building, but with the economy the way it is, that obviously had to be pushed back a bit," Lawrence said. "I'm pleased the administration recognized the need to do something now and not wait for that building to be constructed."
George Fox University is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, and Forbes.com ranks George Fox highest among the top Christian colleges on the West Coast. More than 3,200 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor's degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master's and doctoral degrees.
General Manager, Bon Appetit
Rob Felton, Director of Public Information