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Midland University Unveils Updated Dining Hall


When students arrive on the Midland University campus this month, they will discover a remodeled dining hall designed to better serve them. This is the second phase of a $1.5 million renovation of campus dining and common spaces that began when Fresh Ideas partnered with the university to provide food service.

Students will find a variety of welcoming spaces to eat and hang out as well as a new array of serving stations. There is new flooring, new lighting and new seating, including nine-foot oak tables and countertop seating.

“What we really wanted to do is have this space be a place where students can congregate; a place where they feel welcome and where they want to hang out,” said Andrew Strecker, Director of Dining Services. “They can sit in here and do homework. They can relax.”

And they can eat.

There is the Foodie Bar where chefs can create everything from a Mongolian grill to a burrito bowl. The Chef’s Table will offer classic home cooking. Fresh Fusion offers vegan, vegetarian and other healthy choices for students. Grilled classics such as burgers, grilled cheese and corn dogs will be available, along with a deli and panini bar and soup and salad bar.

One of the major additions is a Wood Stone pizza oven, capable of making everything from thin crust to Neapolitan style to thick crust pizzas.

“We tried to spread out the serving areas so students have easy access to all the stations,” Strecker said. “They know if they’re coming in and they just want pizza, they just have to come over to the pizza bar. They don’t have to walk through the whole gambit. It gives them more variety and more options.”

In between meals, students will be able to study, do homework or just visit with friends. Each of the tables has outlets to charge phones and computers.

“A student’s college experience is more than attending class,” Midland University President Jody Horner said. “It is important to have places where our students can gather to a share meal, explore ideas for projects, and build those lifelong friendships.”

Remodeling the dining hall is another step toward completing Midland’s Dining Hall and Student Commons renovation project. In 2016, the Warrior Grille and Presidential Dining Rooms were updated. Next on the list is renovating the lower level of the Olson Student Center, which will become Eikmeier Commons.

All of these projects would not be possible without the generous support of Ruth Dunklau, Randy and Shelly Eikmeier, the Fremont Area Community Foundation, Fresh Ideas, Jeff and Judy Greenwald, Inspro Insurance, and Dale and Fern Olson.

Midland continues to develop partners in completing and supporting this and other campus projects.

A public open house and Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting has been scheduled during Midland’s Homecoming celebration. The event is scheduled for 9-10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15.

Midland University entered into a partnership with Fresh Ideas in late 2015. At the time, Midland was the first university in Nebraska to partner with the Columbia, Missouri-based company. Fresh Ideas has pioneered farm-to-table, mobile payment, and international cuisine programs on college campuses across the Midwest.

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