In just two months the Ehinger Center will be bustling with activity as the Class of 2016 arrives for new student orientation. One of the most inspiring spaces in the soon-to-open building will be the newly created Dining Hall which, along with a Servery, replaces the former snack bar. With a twenty-three foot barrel vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the wooded center of campus, and a gas-burning fireplace, the dining hall promises to be a favorite gathering place for the entire campus community.

The dining hall was also the result of the university trustees gathering their collective resources. Last year board chair John Crawford III T’65 challenged current and emeriti trustees to contribute funds needed to proceed with the renovation of the old University Center. Twenty-six trustees, many of whom had already made significant commitments to Drew, pledged more than $1,000,000 in additional funding for this project.

In recognition of their generosity, the “Chairman’s Challenge” will be commemorated in the new dining hall.

The new dining hall will not only be a lively and functional space, but is also part of the environmentally-sustainable design of the Ehinger Center. For example, the wood veneer paneling used in the hall is FSC certified white oak that was procured through sustainable foresting practices, porcelain floor tile was made with 40% recycled content, and lighting and window shades are controlled through daylight monitoring sensors to reduce energy usage. Drew is working toward LEED certification for the Ehinger Center. If achieved, this would be the second such building on campus along with McLendon Hall that opened in 2009.

–Barbara Price

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Posted in Gateway Messenger