By Rocco Scarcello
Long gone are the days of standing in the lunch line for so long that you don’t have time to eat before class, as Missouri Valley College presented students with a brand new dining hall for the 2016-2017 school year.
“The previous dining hall had not been substantially changed for 25 years probably, at least,” said Dr. Bonnie Humphrey, President of Missouri Valley College. “It was built in the late 60’s and I’m sure it had to have renovations, but nothing substantial for that long of a time. And so it was just time for us to take it down to the walls and start over.”
Humphrey also mentioned that it was time to upgrade the cooking equipment, and they decided to “take advantage and do all of it at the same time.”
The new dining hall features stations such as the following: Chef’s Table, Trattoria, Mongolian Grill, La Comida, and Smokehouse. Each station has their own menu and this leaves the dining hall gushing with a diversity of choices.
While a new dining hall had been discussed for a couple of years, the planning for the dining hall had been in the works for about 18 months. The renovations were completed right on time.
Humphrey believes that students, faculty/staff, and workers all enjoy the fact that dining hall-goers disperse once entering as opposed to building up in the same line. Humphrey also believes everyone is pleased with the multitude of choices and upgraded food quality.
Chuck Voltmer, Director of Dining Services at MVC, feels similarly to Humphrey about the new dining hall.
“The new dining hall is a much better experience for our clients and also for the employees,” Voltmer said. “It was designed to offer more choices at each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) in a more contemporary environment.”
Omar Al Refae, MVC’s Applications Administrator, is a huge fan of the renovations.
“Quality of food has been superb so far,” Al Refae said. “I’m really impressed with it!”
Al Refae, whose favorite dish at the dining hall is the smoked salmon that they occasionally serve, loves the variety of food compared to past years, and especially enjoys the new pizza oven and “the new layout of the different serving stations available.”
Voltmer also said that he sees no negatives in the new dining hall. He mentions that there a couple of drawbacks, such as the salad bar being difficult to access, but also that “it was designed to the most rigorous national codes for safety and sanitation,” and they are not the only ones who have an issue with the salad bar being hard to reach.
“Any other issues,” Voltmer says, “are really not a big deal from my viewpoint and will be taken care of as we have more time to react.”
Robert Tinker, a senior at MVC who works in the dining hall, likes the renovated version as well.
“There’s nothing I would change,” Tinker says. Although he misses the additional space and the TV’s, he is a fan of the new dining hall.
Ultimately, the new dining hall is a successful addition to campus. The smooth flow of dining hall-goers moving from entrance to a variety of spots has led to shorter lines and an easier way for clients to get food. Even if it might have been overdue, the new dining hall is gorgeous and will serve MVC as far into the foreseeable future as possible.