Sewall dining hall renovations add space, bring fresh look to old space
Sewall Hall’s newly renovated dining hall opened Friday, Oct. 19, just in time to show off its new look for Family Weekend.
The 70-year-old dining hall, renovated by JHL Construction, features a combination of restored historical features in the dining areas and ultra-modern serving areas as well as a new heat and air conditioning system. The remodel doubled the space available for dining, added Zeller’s convenience store and two bathrooms that are accessible for non-residents.
“I was surprised how they worked, how fast (JHL Construction) was,” said Abbas Assadi, senior dining manager of Sewall Hall. “And they were the nicest people ever.”
The dining area has been completely restored, including removing the carpeting and refinishing the original hardwood floors underneath and restoring the original colors and textures to the carved ceiling. Antique chandeliers were replaced with modern energy efficient lighting custom-built to match existing metal scrollwork in the antique hardwood doors. New wooden features perfectly match the antique molding, door and window frames.
The usable space in the dining areas was increased and crowding reduced by adding long bench-seating along the outside walls and new tables and chairs complete the modernized yet traditional look.
A cozy niche in the dining room was converted to a beverage alcove. However, the arrangement of the soda machines means only one person can use it at a time.
The classroom area north of the kitchens is now an additional seating area, doubling the dining area, with scenic views of Boulder Valley. It is a mirror image of the original dining area, with its own beverage alcove and salad bar. The salad bars are attractive, however, the angle of the sneeze-shield makes it difficult for even the shortest students to reach items at the back of the salad bar.
The new serving area is known as “The Boulevard,” featuring a wide hallway between the two dining areas and is as modern as the dining areas are cozily traditional. Marble, glass, stainless steel and tile create a cleanly modern atmosphere with four serving areas and a central bar for cereal, milk and desserts.
Instead of coldly utilitarian silverware and dish dispensers silverware is held in antiqued metal baskets while plates sit on matching shelves or stacked beside the food. However attractive this arrangement is, more traditional stainless steel plate holders have been added whenever space allows to provide enough plates
The “SWL Grill” replaces the old grill window, providing made-to-order eggs in the morning and sandwiches for lunch and dinner.
The “Classics” station provides the basic fare, serving whatever is on the daily menu common to all dining halls. It also has the equipment for made-to-order omelets to supplement the “SWL Grill” during busy hours.
A “Pizza and Subs” bar is available for lunch and dinner and is the primary location for breakfast basics such as eggs, sausage, pancakes and two self-serve waffle-makers.
The “World Plate” is open for special meals. Assadi says it is the “fire and ice” station, with a heating table for items such as taco shells, an area that can hold hot or cold items such as cold cuts or taco meat and a cooler for fresh toppings.
Zeller’s, located in the dining hall lobby, was named after Charles Zeller Klauder, architect of Sewall Hall. It is separated from the lobby by a glass partition. Plans are in the works to add a patio dining area outside the newly installed entrance at the southeast corner.
Demolition of the old kitchen and serving areas began in May, demolition workers wasted no time, kicking the food service employees out of the building at the end of the final meal of the 2007 spring semester.
“We got the food out, that’s all we had time to grab,” Assadi said.
Assadi said the kitchen equipment that remained in the dining hall was demolished with the old kitchen due to age and poor condition. It was remodeled and had a new countertop (check out this highly recommended marble countertops for more info), sink, and fixtures.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Arwyn Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org.