Henry’s Dining Hall fitted with new renovations


The Beacon/Maddie Davis

Joshua Shepard, a junior musical theater major, sits with friends in the newly rennovated cafeteria. In the image is the new wooden booth area, fitted with charging ports.

Henry’s Dining Hall hasn’t been renovated for over 40 years, but over winter break, the upstairs cafeteria in the Student Union Building received a new, more mainstream look.

The cafeteria was remodeled with fresh coats of paint, new soda dispensers, various new outlets with USB charging ports, and even salt and pepper shakers. New plumbing was installed around the cafeteria as well. Aside from these improvements Henry’s seating plan received a new look featuring a new wooden booth area, high tables, and an overall new spacious floor plan.

The dining hall’s reconstruction has been in the planning stages since the middle of last year. With the help of the General Manager Jerry Bogdan, Aramark, the Wilkes University facilities team, and others, the remodeling was done successfully bringing a more relaxed and modern touch to Wilkes’ campus. After the planning stages the construction took 3-4 weeks to complete, just in time for the new semester.

Jerry Bogdan, the General Manager of Henry’s Dining Hall, had expressed his interest in the newest renovations of the cafeteria in his third year.

“It’s something we’ve wanted to do since Aramark came on campus,” stated General Manager Jerry Bogdan about the reconstruction.

Aramark is a food service industry that are partners with Wilkes University. Together, the partnership has not only brought the newest changes of the dining hall from winter break to campus, but also the opening of Starbucks, the P.O.D. Market, Which Wich, Grille Works, and Greens to Go to the campus to help improve the overall experience for Wilkes University staff and students.

The plan for the architect, constructed by Bogdan and others, was to make more seating options to cater to all students. They wanted to make those who want alone time to study and relax to the large group of friends who just want a place to hang out, eat, and talk comfortably.

“It was like military feeding” joked Bogdan while criticizing the old lay out, “it was like a high school cafeteria.”

Bogdan explained that Alicia Bond, director of business operations, and Theresa Cochran, Space Mg/Financial Supervisor in Facilities, both helped design the color scheme for the cafeteria’s new look. Phillip Marino, project supervisor, also spearheaded the reconstruction of the dining hall to serve a fresh new look to returning spring semester students.

“My hope is that it makes a better dining experience for the students and a more comfortable experience for the students and staff” added Bogdan.

“It’s a fresh look at something as we progress and we keep doing new things to keep the program moving forward and to make it a better experience for Wilkes University.”

“It was kinda like we wanted to surprise you” joked Bogdan on the almost sudden change of the dining hall’s layout.

The new look of Henry’s Dining Hall was a shock for some, but the reconstruction has overall received positive reviews from around campus, like Nilab Mominzada.

“I really like the designing,” commented Junior Management and Marketing student Nilab Mominzada, “it looks very brand new.”

“I just love it,” she added, “having dinner and just hanging out with my friends.”

Mominzada wasn’t the only one who loved the reconstruction of Henry’s Dining Hall. Michael Dennis, third year supervisor of the dining hall, expressed his own personal love for the new layout of the cafeteria.

“It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” said Michael Dennis, “it’s streamlined, students love it, and it just brighten up the whole dining hall.”

“It’s a 2018 look,” added Dennis, “it’s more of a relaxed atmosphere than it was before.”

“They way we have it set up now it’s more convenient, there’s more seating, and you can get it and get out,” said Dennis.

“Making sure the student body is happy, that’s the reason why it was done,” Michael said, explaining the motivation behind the reconstruction, “they tried making it modern, streamlined, and comfortable for you.”