By Noah Williams
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of eating at Oceanview Dining Hall on the South Portland campus, you will be more than excited to find out that this charming yet geriatric building will be receiving some long-overdue attention in 2017.
The original construction of the interior of the dining hall seemed to be built around the principal idea that lots of bizarre alcoves and misplaced walls actually improved the dining experience of students by reminding them that life is confusing and disorienting.
Soon, however, the days of bumping into your fellow students as you root through the salad bar or prepare to engage in hand- to-hand combat for the last slice of pepperoni pizza will be but distant memories as we pass through a glittering world of vast serving and seating space.
Our beloved dining vender, Sodexo, has made a $600,000 investment in our dining hall to modernize our current facilities, according to Director of Public Safety and Contract Services Mr. Jay Manhardt.
“The dining hall has needed updating for some time,” says Manhardt. “These updates included water and drainage, handicap-accessible doors and bathrooms, better service flow, and increased food-option stations that are easily accessible, as well as utilization of the front patio for seating in warmer months.”
Tiffanie Bently, SMCC’s dean of students, says that these new improvements will allow Oceanview to stay open longer during the day and increase the variety of menu options available to patrons. According to Dean Bently, the South Portland campus dining facilities haven’t had any substantial upgrades for more than 10 years.
Given that a large part of the faculty, staff, students, and visitors pass through the dining hall, and that much of the equipment and facilities are nearing the end of their lifespan, it seems that we are about due for the proposed upgrades.
It is the hope of the dean of students that making the dining hall a more attractive and accessible place for students to gather will encourage more people to spend more time at Oceanview, thus allowing for an opportunity for increased interaction and a stronger sense of community at SMCC.
Although none of the plans have been approved for construction yet, handicap-
accessibility, a new and more efficient serving station, and a design that promotes better service flow are some of the top priorities for the upgrade project. The anticipated re-opening of the revitalized Oceanview Dining Hall is August 22, 2017.