By Leigh Quicksall
A makeover is in the works for Daly’s dining hall, and it will be ready to make its first appearance next fall.
The patio, normally only used during warm months, will soon be enclosed. This will create a larger area for more seating during peak mealtimes and also a new meeting space for student groups, faculty and staff to use. It will serve as a “more versatile and year-round space for the campus community,” said Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management Mike Reca.
“We hope to be able to allow student groups to reserve the new Daly’s board room when they want to schedule a meeting over lunch or dinner,” said Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jan Friedman-Krupnick.
The old board room sat up to 90 people and could not be reserved during dining hours. The new room will have the capability to be divided into two meeting spaces and can also be used for catering services.
“When the dining hall is closed, and during non-peak dining hours, we plan to allow students, faculty, staff and outside conferences to reserve this new room for meetings,” Friedman-Krupnick said.
The $1.5 million renovation is another upgrade for Rider to accommodate its growing student body.
The dining hall carpets will also be fully replaced, and a fresh coat of paint will be applied to the walls.
Although this may help with overcrowded seating issues, it will not do away with the long food lines.
“Hopefully, this fall we will try and eliminate some lines by having students receive grill items in the Bronc Diner,” Friedman-Krupnick said.
This system was experimented with this past fall, but may be more successful in the 2008 school year.
The outdoor furniture will be moved to the lower Bart Luedeke Center patio to serve as additional outdoor seating for Cranberry’s. The outer appearance of Daly’s will also be improved, as the front door will receive a facelift.
“We will be enhancing the entrance and making the mall side façade more appealing,” Reca said. It will be “similar to the SRC and the New Residence Hall.”
The construction will be handled by VJ Scozzari and Sons, of Lawrenceville, and architectural firm The Spiezle Group, of Trenton. The new Daly’s is anticipated to make its debut on Sept. 1 if construction is completed without complications, pending approval of the architectural plans by the Lawrence Township Planning Board.