Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for the Alpha Dining Hall at Grace College. The college also held an open house and dedication ceremony for the renovated dining hall Friday. Pictured are representatives from the Chamber and the college. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for the Alpha Dining Hall at Grace College. The college also held an open house and dedication ceremony for the renovated dining hall Friday. Pictured are representatives from the Chamber and the college. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
WINONA LAKE – Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting Friday at Alpha Dining Hall at Grace College.

The college held an open house and a dedication ceremony for the renovated dining hall, as well.

Grace President Dr. William Katip said the renovated dining hall can seat about 500 people. The front entrance is new, and the dining hall was completely gutted and rebuilt, as was most of the kitchen. There also are multiple food stations in the dining hall.

The $5.5 million renovation came through donations from 833 alumni and community members, Katip said.

Alpha Dining was dedicated in 1964 as a dorm and dining commons and has served as the main dining facility on campus, according to Grace’s website about the project. “However, as our community continues to grow, our dining needs have changed. Our current space lacks aesthetic appeal and space for all of our students to dine together; the kitchen equipment and ventilation need updating; and we have an increasing number of students with food allergies and sensitivities. We value providing quality food and an enjoyable dining experience for our current students and those to come.”  

During the dedication ceremony, Dr. Drew Flamm, executive vice president, said the college wants to celebrate all God has accomplished through the project’s donors and construction team that has “worked tirelessly” for the past five or six months.

Katip said the college wouldn’t “have reached today without a great deal and a great team of people” working on the renovation. He thanked everyone that worked on the project. He said the breakdown of the project was certainly a team effort.

Katip said there were months of delays due to material availability and shipping.

“But the team worked and it was finished. And that was because of our goal,” he said.

Katip also said students have been able to eat every meal in the dining hall since welcome weekend.

Student Body President Kiersten Martin said she was able to eat in the dining hall before most of the students and was able to take it in “and it was amazing.”

She was able to see and watch the families come in and look at the dining hall. She said many people had looks of awe.

“We’re just so thankful for this opportunity to have a new dining hall, to create this space. We don’t have a student center on campus, so this creates a space that everyone wants to be in,” Martin said.