Campus community members will make their marks on new facility

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Rendering of the completed Valley Dining Center.

Rendering of the completed Valley Dining Center

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— A topping-out ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, to mark a milestone in the new Western Michigan University Valley Dining Center construction project.

Students, staff, faculty and members of the community are welcome to attend the event to be held at the construction site near Goldsworth Valley Pond. Attendees are invited to sign the final steel construction beam between 3:30 and 4 p.m. The ceremony will conclude with a beam-raising at 4 p.m. when the signed support beam will be lifted by crane and placed on the main floor of the Valley Dining Center.

Making brief remarks at the event will be Dr. Diane Anderson, vice president for student affairs, and a representative of the construction firm the Christman Co. A traditional topping-out ceremony is held when the last piece of steel is raised into place, often adorned with an evergreen tree for good luck as well as other symbols important to the building's owner.

About the Valley Dining Center

The Valley Dining Center, scheduled to open in fall 2016, will provide a restaurant-like atmosphere where fresh food is prepared in front of guests. Nine distinct venues in the dining room will allow 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, salad bar with fresh cut fruit, and a full dessert station specializing in crepes.

Café 1903, a retail cash operation and convenience store on the lower level, will offer snacks, light meals and beverages for extended late-night hours. To complement the expansive dining choices, a comfortable lobby area with couches will act as a community space for students to socialize downstairs.

The nearly 67,000-square-foot building, scheduled for completion in August 2016, will primarily serve the Valley neighborhood. The new facility will replace the three existing dining locations in the Valley residence halls, which will be re-deployed to enhance the residential experience in each of the three Valley complexes. Student feedback will be a key driver in determining the added amenities and services.

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