Oakwood University celebrated the renovation of its cafeteria in Blake Center with a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 17. The cafeteria and Blake Center were dedicated in 1969. However, during the ensuing 40 years, the growth of the student body to almost 2000 students, and years of natural depreciation, indicated clearly to the Administration and Board of Trustees that upgrades and changes were extremely necessary. The extensive renovations, made possible by Oakwood’s partner, Sodexo Campus Services, included: a complete remodel and expansion of the dining area, increasing seating capacity to approximately 400; the installation of a sprinkler system and ADA upgrades; enhancements in the food preparation and serving areas; new student meeting rooms; new entrances and egresses have been added, and upgraded infrastructure for safety and student convenience. The new décor, which includes the latest in audio/visual additions, facilitates warmth and social interaction. Architectural design was prepared by Goodwin, Mills and Cawood, Inc. Construction was done by Ryzec Bulding Group. Both of these firms, along with all suppporting contractors and crafsmen, provided quality work and an outstanding product.
Public officials State Representative Laura Hall; Mayor Tommy Battle; and Huntsville Councilman Richard Showers, Sr. were in attendance. During remarks and greetings, Sodexo Vice President Kelvin Mills pointed out that Oakwood has the distinction of being the only exclusively vegetarian HBCU cafeteria in America.
Gratitude is expressed to Sodexo Campus Services and local Sodexo team for its largesse and partnership with Oakwood University for almost 20 years. We also appreciate the work of the architectural and construction firms, the members of the Construction Committee, the city of Huntsville, the support of the United Student Movement, the Administration, the employees of Blake Center, and the Oakwood University Board of Trustees. Oakwood University President Dr. Delbert W. Baker invited the public to visit the campus and enjoy the delicious, affordable, vegetarian cuisine at the beautiful, newly renovated facility.
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