StFX’s main student dining room, in historic Morrison Hall, is undergoing a number of renovations this summer, adding modern technology to the 83-year-old building while maintaining its traditional look and feel.
“We have replaced the large windows out front with new energy-efficient windows, which will allow us to eliminate the curtains, allow more light in, but help keep the heat and cold out,” says Bob Hale, Director Ancillary Services.
Luc Venedam, Facilities Management Project Manager, says the new dining hall windows facing University Avenue will maintain the grid design of the original wood single pane windows.
“The new system is constructed of aluminum with a white finish; the new thermal glazing provides a large amount of protection from UV transmittance and overall heat gain, which was experienced with the previous window system,” he says.
The new glazing is fritted (a ceramic application that covers about 40 per cent of the window) with small 1/8th ceramic gray dots, similar to the west facing windows in the Mulroney Hall Joyce Atrium. This will reduce solar glare and provide a better, more comfortable dining experience, especially in the sun porch area, he says.
“With the improvement to the main dining hall windows, we have also incorporated a variable refrigerant flow cooling and heating system that will allow for better climate control in the dining areas, including Starbucks. The design of the system allowed for discrete installation with all mechanical and electrical connections being concealed yet accessible for future maintenance and service.”
Other improvements as part of the project are the replacement of the main dishwasher, dish tabling system and upcoming replacement of the waste disposal/composting system along with several new servery appliances.
Mr. Hale says they are also doubling the size of the favorite My Kitchen from four stations to eight, have added new flooring and furniture, as well as a new sound system and large screen TVs, and relocated the salad bar and dessert stations to allow for better flow.
Morrison Hall, which also houses the President’s Office, Wellspring Centre, and food and residence services offices, has been an iconic part of the StFX campus since it was built in 1938 and became the centre of a new building complex on campus.
It was named in honour of the late Archbishop James Morrison, Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish from 1912-50, and University Chancellor, and was designed by Jens F. Larsons, the architect who also designed for StFX the University Chapel, Bishops Hall, the old Science Hall, the twin residences of Cameron and MacKinnon Halls, the buildings at the Coady International Institute, and Nicholson Hall.
The dining hall opened for the first time on May 5, 1938.