The new renovations to Huden Dining Hall are being met with mixed reviews.
While most agree that the primarily cosmetic renovations “look nice;” many students interviewed wanted to talk more about accessibility of the renovated building.
“It looks great, but its super inconvenient coming and going,” said senior Cody Arsenault. “It’s nice change but, only having one door to enter and exit is problematic.”
Arsenault’s views were echoed by several other students, both on and off campus.
“It’s completely impractical to have one way to exit and enter … Is it really much further to walk? It is when it’s raining,” said off-campus senior Chris Fleury.
Even freshman seem to agree that the flow appears to be all wrong.
“It’s really hard to get in and out, especially during lunch time,” said Amanda Patch, a freshman.
Although she admits she hadn’t seen the dining hall before coming to Castleton, she agrees with the overwhelming sentiment: the one door isn’t going to work.
Liz Young, a sophomore, agrees, but also was critical of the new outdoor seating area, not because of its appearance or the idea, but because of restrictions on where food can go.
“There’s absolutely no point in the outdoor seating either, since we can’t bring our food out there,” Young adds.
But administrators and the contractors who worked on the renovations disagree.
“I happen to be happy with the changes and even students who don’t see the changes can feel it. We have new windows, air conditioning, new plumbing, the floors have all been redone,” said Dean of Students Dennis Proulx. “We have one more phase to complete, too. We’ll be adding more lighting, changing the soda machine station and installing an outdoor fire pit.
“The workers seem a lot happier to be in a new setting. They deserve good facilities as well, as do our students.”
Contractor Stuart Nutting, who was a superintendent on the job, said the project cost the school about $1.5 million and took about 14 weeks.
“Some days we had 40 men in here,” Nutting said. “It went how it was supposed to. The architect seems happy and so do the owners.”
Jeff Kurto, general manager of Sodexo who directs operations at Huden, praised the renovations.
“The changes we put in place are mostly aesthetic and organizational, but it was a much-needed and much-deserved facelift for the staff and the students,” he said. “While we still get crowded during peak times, it certainly is much more comfortable and welcoming,” Kurto said.