ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Feb. 2, 2006 — During a noon gathering of students today, University president Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., announced plans to invest $8 million in renovations to its dining hall and residence facilities beginning this summer.
The plans call for an approximately 5,000-square-foot addition and renovations to Hickey Dining Hall, substantial renovations to residence halls, including Shay-Loughlen, Doyle and Francis halls, and heating and other improvements in Devereux, Robinson and Falconio halls.
“This summer, our campus will see a transformation that includes building in support of academics and renovations in support of student life and community. This is very good news for those sharing the ‘good journey’ of a Bonaventure education,” said Sr. Margaret. “It is thrilling to launch a renovation that will have multiple benefits for the maximum number of our students.”
The work on Hickey Dining Hall and Shay-Loughlen is expected to proceed in summer 2006, with the remaining work following in 2007.
The University is virtually reinventing food service at Hickey Dining Hall. In response to students’ requests, the plans include an addition to the dining hall to house a gourmet coffeehouse with wireless, major renovations capability and extended operating hours. The foundation of the dining hall was laid on Oct. 23, 1930, and the first meals were served Feb. 4, 1931.
“We are very excited about this new venue and believe that it will provide an alternative in casual gathering space for students that they don’t currently have,” said Nigel-Ray Garcia, president of St. Bonaventure’s Student Government Association. “We are thrilled that our University is going to provide a comfortable and accessible meeting place for students to relax, meet and reflect on our days as Bonaventure students.”
The renovations to Hickey Dining Hall will include a complete overhaul of the facility. The main dining room will receive an entire cosmetic redesign, including new flooring, ceiling and wall finishes, lighting, new tables and chairs, and new stations for food preparation and serving.
This will allow Dining Services to change and expand its menu in response to changing tastes and requests from students. Included in the review is an anticipated redesign of the meal plans to provide greater flexibility to students.
All of the proposed changes are in response to student input collected through surveys and focus groups, and student leaders and others who previously served on the University’s Master Planning Committee. Additional student input will be sought in reaction to the proposed plan prior to making final decisions.
The plans for renovations to the residence halls will include a total renovation of one building to a suite configuration, with the other receiving significant upgrades. Improvements are also planned to Doyle, Francis, Robinson and Falconio halls in summer 2007.
Renovations are slated to begin as soon as classes end, with an ambitious schedule mapped out that calls for completing the work on Hickey and Shay-Loughlen during this construction season. The hall that’s converted to suites will house 114 students; that space now houses approximately 190 students. The renovations will be paid for through tax-exempt bonds.
“We are pleased the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency, at its meeting today, approved our application to issue $8 million in tax-exempt bonds,” said Brenda McGee Snow, vice president for Business and Finance at the University.
The $8 million project comes on the heels of a $13.6 million plan to upgrade St. Bonaventure’s science facilities, a $2 million addition to Friedsam Memorial Library, and the 2004 opening of the $6.2 million Sandra A. and William L. Richter Center, a state-of-the-art recreation facility located in the heart of campus.
Full-scale construction on the new science wing and library addition also begins this summer.
Editor’s Note: for the history of Hickey Dining Hall, click here.