SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — In the first step of a three-phase, cutting-edge transformation of the Benham-Pence Student Center dining areas, a new and improved café-style eatery will be unveiled at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, with a Grand Opening event.
The phased renovations are a product of a working relationship between Wittenberg University and Sodexho, the independent contractor that operates Wittenberg’s dining services. When finished, the renovations to the dining areas will become models for other universities across the country and serve as an example of opportunities available through strategic partnering and visioning. Both will be cutting-edge facilities that other universities will likely emulate in the future.
“The creative energies of this partnership have resulted in a space that I hope our current and prospective students will find attractive and may even exceed their expectations,” said Wittenberg Vice President of Business and Finance Darrell Kitchen. “Through true collaboration, this work was completed using sound economics and good outcomes.”
Kitchen also noted the “superb leadership” on this project provided by Director of Business Services Donna Picklesimer and Director of Dining Services Dixie McAllister.
At Monday’s Grand Opening, the Commons, as it has been known since the last renovation in 1987, will get a new name to go along with the dramatic changes to the popular retail dining area on the first floor of the student center. These latest renovations were completed in the last two months, in time for the second semester of the 2004-05 school year on Jan. 10.
“This is a trendy gathering place for both the university and the Springfield community,” said Jessica Back, marketing manager of Wittenberg Dining Services. “Space like this also makes it easier for the university to welcome the community onto campus.”
The new and improved Commons is far more colorful than before, and it has a wider variety of dining options. The centerpiece is Jazzman’s Café, a full-service coffee bar. Pete’s Arena, a new pizza area, Grill 155, Rappz, which sells popular sandwich wraps, burritos and soups, and Scoops, an ice cream area, create plenty of menu options. The seating arrangements are also different and include intimate areas complete with colorful couches and chairs.
The Grand Opening will include a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches from Wittenberg representatives, including interim President Bill Steinbrink and Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students Carolyn Perkins. Live music, games and a performance by Pocket Lint, Wittenberg’s improvisational comedy troupe, are among the highlights. The new name will be announced, samples of all the new food will be available, and students will have a chance to win “Jazzman’s for a Year.”
The Commons is open from 8 a.m.-1 a.m. daily, with each eating area keeping different hours based on demand. Food prices have been determined to be in line with other local eateries.
The next step in the transformation will be a renovation of the Center Dining Room (CDR), the university’s residential dining area located on the second floor of the student center. “The renovations will include the same kind of trendy styling as the Commons, but they will be more multi-functional, continuing to serve the Wittenberg and Springfield community for special programs, banquets and receptions,” Picklesimer said.
Construction on the CDR will be completed in two stages during the next year, starting with updates to the serving area in summer 2005.
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award