Grotto Commons renovated…again

Melanie Todd, Contributing writer

Students returned for spring semester to a newly renovated Grotto Commons, yet again. The dining hall looks dramatically different compared to the end of Spring 2016. These will be the final changes to the dining hall, for now at least.

“We created openings in the Starbucks coffee area and near the Daily Dish station to ease the traffic congestion in these areas. We relocated the beverage station to also address the congestion in that area,” General Manager Dean Schoenfeldt said.

The changes helped to open up the floor plan overall. The dining hall appears to be brighter and more welcoming without the closed off sections.

“We moved the entryway to create a more aesthetic and welcoming entry,” Schoenfeldt said.

These changes were made after seeing some issues during the fall semester.

“This is the completed plan for the Grotto Commons. The changes were made to the design based on the challenges that were created by the original design. Some of the design elements did not work due to the increased traffic,” Schoenfeldt said.

In addition to aiding traffic flow, the renovations add an additional 50 seats to the dining hall creating a total of 395 seats available. No one should have trouble finding a seat even during the busy dinner rush.

“Most students are thankful that we listened to their concerns and were able to make the adjustments so quickly. It shows the university’s commitment to hearing the students and making it right,” Schoenfeldt said.

Parkhurst offers opportunities for students to provide feedback. Comment cards are always available and posted frequently. Parkhurst also regularly meets with Mercyhurst Student Government to hear feedback and consult on new ideas.

There are a few more small changes that will take place throughout the semester as well.

“We will be doing some updates in the kitchen area to complete the Grotto Commons renovations, but this will be behind the scenes and would not impact student service,” Schoenfeldt said.