| WMU News
KALAMAZOO, Mich.—During their Dec. 18 meeting, Western Michigan University trustees approved the name Valley Dining Center for the new state-of-the-art facility planned for construction in the Valley Residential Neighborhood.
Valley Dining Center
The new dining center will be open to all WMU students, faculty, staff and visitors. Designed to be an anchor destination for Valley residents, the two-story, 67,000-square-foot dining center will be situated just south of the Valley III residence halls and overlooking scenic Goldsworth Valley Pond. Construction is expected to begin in late spring 2015, with a projected opening in fall 2016.
The second floor will feature a restaurant-style experience with fresh menu items prepared in front of customers. Comfortable seating options such as booth seating, counters with stools, and flexible group spaces will create room for almost 1,000 guests. Two special dining areas can serve as general seating, or they can be converted to private dining rooms for groups.
Students will have nine distinct dining venues from which to choose, including 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. In recognition of the growing number of students with food allergies and special dietary needs, a unique food pantry and allergen free zone will also be available.
On the ground floor, a convenience store and café will offer assorted snacks, light meals and beverage selections. A comfortable lobby area will act as community space for students to socialize, in addition to a study area with table-style seating for academics.
Supporting ongoing sustainability efforts, the new center is planned to achieve a minimum of silver-level certification through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—program. Sustainable features include new energy-efficient equipment, an exterior living wall and a sustainable rain garden for storm water management.
Part of the Valley Residential Neighborhood
The Valley Residential Neighborhood includes the Goldsworth Valley Apartments and three residence hall complexes that currently house more than 2,800 students. Primarily home to first-year students, the valley residence halls also house five specialized academic communities and three interest-based communities.
Once the new dining center opens, the three existing dining rooms will be renovated for resident use as part of long-term Student Affairs strategic planning efforts. A student-driven process will help guide the redesign of the space in a way that fosters involvement, community and engagement.
Additional details about WMU's evolving housing and dining environments are available on the Student Life website at wmich.edu/students/planning.
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