Board of Trustees approves renovation of Pollock Dining Commons

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's Board of Trustees Friday (Nov. 5) approved an $11.7 million renovation of Pollock Dining Commons on Penn State's University Park campus. Renovations to the commons are scheduled for completion in August 2011.

Al Horvath, senior vice president for finance and business and treasurer at Penn State, said the 26,600-square-foot space will be fully renovated to reflect the latest trends in food presentation, preparation and overall dining environment.

"This remodel will provide students with individually tailored venues where food is prepared in front of them and can be enjoyed in comfortable dining spaces with a variety of seating configurations," Horvath said.

The planned renovations are based on the results of extensive research conducted at peer institutions and on feedback from student focus groups, said Lisa Wandel, director of residential dining at Penn State.

"We want to deliver an excellent dining experience at Pollock Commons," Wandel said. "Students will have access to a wide variety of food concepts -- there will be choices for everyone who comes in the door -- and it will have a whole new look that we're really excited about. It won't be a big dining room; the area will be broken up into smaller 'neighborhoods.' We've looked at this renovation from all angles and we can't wait to share it with our students."

Wandel said the renovation of Pollock Dining Commons will provide increased capacity in addition to enhanced experience. Students will find many of the same nutrient-rich, vegan and vegetarian menu items at the newly renovated Pollock Dining Commons when they return in the fall. Redifer Commons, also in South Halls, will remain open to students throughout the summer.

Renovations of portions of Pollock Dining Commons will begin in December; the main dining hall will be renovated during the summer semester in 2011. The kitchen will be improved with new ceilings and enhanced lighting, an updated sprinkler system will be installed, and the commons' front entrance will feature a new canopy, new entry doors and a bay window.

Pollock Dining Commons currently serves about 1,900 meals per day. Wandel said she expects that number to rise by 25 percent to 35 percent when the facility reopens in fall 2011.

Last Updated November 05, 2010