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A Fresh Dining Hall for Kutztown University

Nov 13, 2023
Kutztown dining hall seating area

STV’s latest work for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) – the Pennsylvania state agency that oversees 10 state-owned universities – brought our buildings design and construction management (CM) teams back to a familiar campus to update a familiar building.

STV provided a suite of design services for an updated South Dining Hall Building at Kutztown University. Led by Greg Ninow, AIA, senior associate and architectural studio director in Pennsylvania, the team’s design introduced a food court concept at the front of the facility and improved access to the main board operation.

Kutztown Dining Hall

For more than 20 years, STV has provided a broad range of design and construction management services for several campuses within the PASSHE consortium, and Kutztown is one of our most frequent repeat clients, having designed such buildings as the Academic Forum and Sharadin Arts Building in recent years.

Originally constructed in the 1960s, the last time the South Dining Hall was updated, STV prepared the feasibility study and provided schematic design services for an 11,700-square-foot renovation.

Kutztown dining hall food service area and seating

The team’s new design features a glass front elevation on the facility’s north side that overlooks the University’s soccer field. The main seating area is designed as a multipurpose programmable space. A raised platform provides the ability to project athletic and other events on a large screen. All in all, the space seats close to 300 students.

Additionally, STV’s interior design team, led by Traci Meitzler, NCIDQ, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, prepared complete furniture and interior design packages for the dining hall. The front serving line was upgraded for ADA accessibility, and the food service equipment was entirely replaced.

Kutztown Dining Hall seating area

In addition to design services, the firm’s CM team also provided a full suite of services through the lifecycle of the project. As part of an eight-year, open-ended, annually renewed task order contract, the client engaged with the CM team for support with stakeholder management, construction documentation, procuring food service equipment, procuring furniture, and supervising installation.

“Scheduling was a major challenge on this project,” said Michael Walsh, senior project manager. “In order to complete our tasks during the three-month period between semesters, our team had to plan ahead with stakeholders, suppliers, manufacturers, and the construction crew – all while working on other tasks and renovations for the University.”

To mitigate potential supply chain delays, Walsh and his team secured the design specifications early in the project to get the materials out to bid well before the end of the semester. By planning ahead and securing options for the client well in advance of the desired date, the CM team was able to finalize the equipment and furniture packages nearly two months before the renovation started in earnest.

“Everything came together because we planned ahead,” Walsh said.

Currently, the CM team is focused on refreshing and renovating various other student resources on campus, including the student union’s coffee shop and an updated welcome center.