North Central College - Naperville, IL

Kaufman Dining Hall, Oesterle Library, Seager Residence Hall undergo summer construction projects

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New patio and fire pit, at Jefferson Commons outside Seager Residence Hall
New patio and fire pit, at Jefferson Commons outside Seager Residence Hall

In the spirit of recycling, reusing and renewing, several renovation improvements are modernizing areas of campus that will help meet the changing needs for instruction, informal gathering spaces and improved food service at Kaufman Dining Hall.

Kaufman is undergoing a two-phase project to update serving lines and kitchen facilities. During the summer, the kitchen and dock areas are expanding to accommodate the demands of enrollment growth over the past decade and increased catering needs. “We’re serving 800 to 900 students per meal and handling more catering,” explains Steve Martens, director of dining services for Chartwells. “We needed more prep area because we didn’t have the physical space to add staff.”

By fall term, a relocated bakery area and new brick oven will be ready as “cook-to-show” stations.  During December Term, the entire serving area will be remodeled and reconfigured.

Another large project underway is transforming areas of Oesterle Library into new classrooms and is repurposing other spaces for quiet study and instructional media storage.

First-floor space that formerly housed the Dr. Lora L. Tyson Education Curriculum Resource Center will now hold 50 computer stations and become the site of the Class of 1997 Computer Lab. The former lab housed just 16 computer stations, which was less than ideal for hosting hundreds of students for instruction on how to use library resources and perform research.

“This has been a high priority,” says John Small, Clare and Lucy Oesterle Director of Library Services. “This new lab is so important for the staff and what we do.”

The former computer lab space will be repurposed as a quiet room. Materials from the Tyson curriculum center will be relocated to the lower level periodicals room.

Also on the lower level, a new 56-person classroom is under construction in the space that formerly held a kitchen and instructional media. It will be designed with moveable furniture like the Learning Studio Research classroom in Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.

A renovation of the lounge space attached to Seager Residence Hall (pictured) was inspired by a tour of North Central facilities by student affairs staff. “This was a space that we felt students could get excited about,” explains Jeremy Gudauskas ’99/M ’11, associate dean of students. “So we pitched the idea to Student Governing Association (SGA).”

The students in SGA embraced the plan for an open gathering space/recreation room and provided input on amenities. The space will gain new televisions, computers, game tables, fresh paint and wood flooring.

SGA is also helping fund an outdoor patio adjacent to the lounge. “These spaces will be designed for all students, residents and commuters,” says Gudauskas. “Our philosophy is that all spaces are for everyone.”


View construction progress

07-17-2014