Groundbreaking for Valley Dining Center set

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of a rendering of the south facade of the Valley Dining Center.

Rendering of the south facade of the Valley Dining Center

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University community will gather in Goldsworth Valley Friday, June 12, for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on a dramatic new dining facility that will be open for fall 2016.

The 1:30 p.m. event on the site directly across from Goldsworth Valley Pond will feature WMU President John M. Dunn, Vice President for Student Affairs Diane Anderson and Dining Services Director Judy Gipper. Students, administrators, dining staff and others from across the campus are expected to attend.

Road closure in effect

Goldsworth Valley Drive is partially closed for site preparation and utility work. Those attending the groundbreaking should approach the area traveling clockwise on the campus Ring Road, driving past around the road closure barricades to park near the intramural-field end of the site.

The two-story, 67,000-square-foot building is intended to be an anchor destination in WMU's Valley Residential Neighborhood. It will be integrated with the surrounding natural wooded environment and serve all 12 residence halls in the Valley. The center will seat about 1,000 guests. Although primarily serving students in the Valley I, II and III residence halls, it will be open to all WMU students, employees and visitors.

The $36 million new facility will overlook the pond and be situated on the north edge of Goldsworth Drive, just south of the Harrison-Stinson residence halls. The second floor will provide a restaurant style experience with numerous seating options to create a comfortable and social space for guests to connect with others during meals.

Features of the new dining hall

A variety of on-trend flavorful, healthy and fresh food choices will be served at nine distinct venues, allowing guests to select from Asian cuisine, home-style classics, pizza or pasta choices, Latin dishes, deli sandwiches and wraps, breakfast fare, a full grill menu, a salad bar that will include cut fresh fruit selections, and a full dessert station that will specialize in crepes.

In recognition of the growing number of students with food allergies and special nutritional needs, a unique venue featuring a pantry and food selections in an allergen free zone is included in the plan.

The ground floor will include a convenience store and cafe as a complement to the expansive dining choices on the upper floor. This retail establishment will offer snacks, light meals and beverages through the late-night period, in addition to a place to study or socialize with friends.

A short video tour of the building concept is available at

For more news, arts and events, visit