JOHNSTOWN - It's a dining center, not a cafeteria, and its new layout will help college students make the transition from high school to adulthood, Fulton-Montgomery Community College officials heard Thursday.
"Welcome to your new dining facility," project architect David D'Amore, of Johnstown-based AND: Architecture & Design, told the college trustees.
Soft and diffused light flows from overhead fixtures, instead of harsh or glaring light sources.
Architect David D’Amore, left, talks Thursday about the new dining area he designed at Fulton-Montgomery Community College with FM Vice President for Student Affairs Jane Kelley, FM Foundation Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director Lesley Lanzi and FM Trustee Michael Pepe. (Lisa D. Connell/The Leader-Herald)
"These are not your 1967 light fixtures," D'Amore said.
Gone are the black-and-green table and chair settings. The new tables and chairs are not yet in place, but when they arrive, areas of the room will be divided by vertical sections to look more congenial and less like a sterile, impersonal cafeteria.
Menus will be posted on computer screens. The digital selections will feature five different menu plans at five different serving stations. Hence the name "Union Stations," proposed by Jane Kelley, vice president of student affairs at the college. The dining center is in the college's student union building.
The staff is excited about the project as it nears completion.
"Four more days" is the countdown, D'Amore said Thursday.
Kelley said several college employees have inquired already about getting meal plan cards.
D'Amore said he's worked a lot of late nights on the project, without complaint.
"Fortunately, we've got good contractors and there's been no push to have to motivate them," he said.
The colors on the walls - orange, ochre and purple give the facility a more contemporary look.
Funding for the $800,000 project is coming from the FM Foundation, the college's private fundraising division.
Meanwhile, work continues on Raiders Cove, the new student lounge, set to open in January 2013.
Construction of additional student dormitories is nearing completion as well. The building and dining room upgrades are part of the college's five-year strategic plan that began in 2011.
James Landrio, vice chairman of the college's Board of Trustees, thanked Swanger and the college's administrative team for their work on the new dining center.
"This is now starting to look like a college and not an old high school," Landrio said.
D'Amore agreed. For the experienced architect, it's the first large-scale dining facility that he's designed.
"I'm definitely pleased with the way it came out," he said.
Lisa D. Connell covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at email@example.com.