Extreme Makeover: La Roche edition

Summer renovations give new look to campus

By Joe Ziegler

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La Roche College’s Cantellops Dining Hall, Redhawk Café, and John J. Wright Library went through major renovations prior to the start of fall semester 2010.

While the renovations to Cantellops Dining Hall and Redhawk Café were separate from the Wright Library renovation, the transformations echo a similar theme: modernization.

Director of Food Services at La Roche College Jon Mussitsch said, ”We added the demonstration kitchen. We’re having our final inspection today for McCandless to get that approved so we can start using it Monday [September 27, 2010].

©Rebecca Jeskey

Our focus was on where the students are,“ Mussitsch said.

According to Mussitsch, the major goal of the renovation was to change the service lines and create a demonstration kitchen. ”Now we’re not just limited to doing wraps or omelets, and that kind of stuff. The spectrum we can do now is unlimited,“ he said.

Along with new serving lines, the cafeteria added new salad and deli bars. ”Now our serving style is completely self-service,“ he said.

”We also gained 20 seats. Our capacity before was 180, and now we’re at 200.“

Mussitch stated that the remodeling created a better atmosphere for the cafeteria. ”We added all new lighting, the four main chandeliers you see when you first walk in. We made sure the room has a really good feel to it. It’s a very big open space,“ he said. ”The dining area is a lot brighter. We fixed all the lamp posts around here on the columns for accent lighting.“

Lighting was also a focus of the renovation to the Wright Library. ”It was so dark in here,“ LaVerne Collins, director of John J. Wright Library said. ”It was hard to see the books in places. It’s really nice to have new lighting.“

Some of the lighting changes include a large window parallel to the library’s entrance, recessed lighting, and some pendant lighting above the library’s circulation desk.

The library now also includes a SMART classroom. ”They turned the fine arts room into a SMART room that can be divided [into two classrooms],“ Collins said.

To accommodate the 5,000 books from the fine arts room, La Roche also added new shelves to the library’s original shelving.

”The books [in the library’s entire collection] were packed, and moved into Science Center classrooms,“ Collins said. ”It took three days.“

”When they moved the books back, it was the reverse process,“ Collins added. ”Books had to be color-coded and measured [because of new shelf locations].“

            The College based the design for the Wright Library renovation on a design created by La Roche College interior design majors.

”It started with student presentations from junior interior design majors,“ Collins said. ”Two classes divided into two groups.“

Once the College chose one of the concepts and showed a professional design firm, they had engineers design the new heating and electric.

The library’s new heating and cooling systems will allow for easier maintenance, according to Collins. ”I’m hoping students enjoy the new space,“ Collins said. ”It’s so much cleaner and brighter“

In addition to the renovations to the library and cafeteria, Mussitsch said that SAGE, La Roche’s dining service provider, is going through extra steps to help modernize the dining facilities on campus.

”So far, we’ve done breakfast on the main line, like we’ve done in the past. That’s going to change,“ Mussitsch said. ”We’re going to start doing made-to-order breakfast out of the demonstration kitchen, once we have our final inspection. It will allow us to do fresher stuff. It’s a new opportunity for us.“

He added that the cafeteria is now equipped to offer alternatives for those suffering from Celiac Disease, also known as gluten intolerance.

The cafeteria now also offers eco-friendly to-go containers.

”We got eco-friendly to-go containers,“ Mussitsch said. ”The theory behind it is this: if you come in and buy the container for around five bucks, we’ll give you the to-go container. You take it, and use it to take your food out. All we ask is that you rinse them out. You give us the dirty one, and we’ll give you a clean one. We take care of washing, so we are eliminating that end of it.“

La Roche’s dining services also took a leap into popular culture with the addition of the Twitter account: SageAtLaRoche.

Mussitsch said, ”We don’t have nearly enough people following us yet. It could become a great tool if we got enough people following it.“

The dining services’ Twitter account will provide updates on daily specials, menu choices, and already includes pictures of employees at work, according to Mussitsch.

”I’m excited. It’s a state-of-the-art dining facility now once the demo station is up and running,“ Mussitsch said. ”It’s an integral part of what we’re going to be doing. All of the changes  that we have done so far have been great, and there has been a ton of positive feedback, and it’s only going to get better from here.“

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