SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University formally opened Post 95, a cutting-edge café-style dining area in the Benham-Pence Student Center, with a Grand Opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting on Monday. The eating space, which is the first step of a three-phase transformation of the student center’s dining areas, has been open on a limited basis since Jan. 10 following a two-month renovation of the area formerly known as the Commons.
The Grand Opening included remarks by many of the key people involved in the partnership between Wittenberg and Sodexho, the independent contractor that operates the university’s dining services, that have made the phased renovations possible. Among those speaking to a crowd of Wittenberg faculty, staff and students and Springfield community members were Wittenberg Director of Business Services Donna Picklesimer, University Pastor Rachel Tune, Interim President Bill Steinbrink, Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students Carolyn Perkins, Vice President of Business and Finance Darrell Kitchen, Student Senate Vice President Beth Hurst and Sodexho Regional Vice President John Reid. The group then joined together to cut a ribbon across one of the entrances to the new and improved dining area after the new name was announced.
The ribbon-cutting was the last part of the ceremony, following the announcement of the new name, Post 95. A re-naming contest was won by a trio of Wittenberg students, Kimie James, John Lepelley and Allison Helmuth, who came up with a name that is both symbolic and fitting for an eating establishment that Wittenberg and Sodexho officials hope becomes a popular stop for everyone in the Springfield community.
Post 95 stems from Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 theses on the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. 31, 1517, an act that began the Reformation in Germany. The church door served as a bulletin board, or a modern-day chat room, the medium by which universities exchange ideas. Tune noted that, “This name, Post 95, represents a space that is also a place where the community can gather for friendship, fun, conversation and the exchange of ideas.”
For their creativity, James, Lepelley and Hellmuth were rewarded with a gift of $100 worth of WittGold, which can be used to purchase meals in Post 95, or any other university dining area.
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. Construction on the CDR will be completed in two stages during the next year, starting with updates to the serving area in summer 2005.
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.
Post 95 is far more colorful than the Commons, which was last renovated in 1987, 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.
“This new space is a breath of fresh air,” Hurst said. “This gives us a place to come and just hang out. It’s more than a place to eat and then go home.”
Post 95 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.
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