Silver Lake College excited about renovation projects

Posted On August 15, 2014

Silver Lake College students returning for the start of the 2014-15 academic year will notice a pair of renovation projects designed to better serve their needs.

Demolition begins in earnest next week on the lobby inside the college’s main entrance on the north side of Main Hall. The most notable transformations associated with Phase 1 of the project are the addition of a Welcome Center, a Starbucks coffee shop and cafe, and spirit/gift shop.

Meanwhile, renovations to the Dining Hall, also located in the Main Hall, are nearing completion. Not only does the space look different, but the menu and method of choosing food items has been restructured, as well.

Dr. Chris E. Domes, president of Silver Lake College, said the entire campus community is excited about the renovation projects, which total more than $500,000.

Front entrance lobby

Demolition in the lobby area should be finished by the end of August. Construction is scheduled to conclude by the end of September.

Phase 1 of the lobby project, which is being handled by local company A.C.E. Building Service and other contractors, will accomplish three goals, Domes said.

“First, what we’re doing in the lobby area is creating a ‘one-stop shop’ where we can service the needs of our students more efficiently and effectively,” he said in reference to the Welcome Center, which will be on the northeast section of the main lobby. “It creates an opportunity for the offices that truly serve students on the enrollment side — which includes Admissions, Financial Aid, the Registrar’s office and Student Accounts — to all be in one location. It will allow the offices to work effectively together.”

Domes also said the new, spacious lobby will foster a sense of hospitality where students, families and visitors can walk in and be greeted by people at the Welcome Center desk.

The third goal of the renovation is to highlight the Heritage Room, which will be accessible by doors facing the lobby.

“That will create an opportunity for us to highlight the history of the college,” Domes said. “Our visitors and guests can then physically see the heritage, the mission and the past of Silver Lake College and say, ‘Wow, here’s an institution that’s been here for 80 years.’ That room will be a place where we can hold receptions, greet people and highlight our rich history.”

A Starbucks coffee shop and café will be located in the northwest section of the new lobby. It will include a seating area, where students, staff and visitors can enjoy traditional Starbucks beverages and other “grab and go” food items. A spirit/gift shop, complete with an array of Silver Lake College apparel and other merchandise, will be adjacent to the Starbucks.

Phase 2 of the lobby renovation is tentatively scheduled to be completed in 18 to 24 months. During that phase, the new one-story lobby will be converted into a two-story atrium space; the school’s “compass” logo will be incorporated into the floor design in the middle of the lobby; a rooftop patio will be built next to the Heritage Room just south of the lobby; and a front door garden entrance will be created.

Dining Hall

Renovations in the Dining Hall are being handled by Silver Lake College partner Sodexo, an international organization that delivers dining and facilities management for colleges and universities around the world.

“As we grow our residential population, it’s really important that we have the services available to our students that allow them to create a real home experience,” Domes said. “The upgrades allow that family model of both living and learning to extend into the dining experience, as well.”

The most obvious changes are the addition of a partial wall to help section off part of the room, as well as the installation of food stations throughout the central area of the Dining Hall.

Those stations will feature a new food menu, complete with a pizza and pasta station, a deli line, soups and salads, a classic station, and some international cuisine. In addition, Silver Lake College and Sodexo will be working to meet the dietary needs of students.

The Dining Hall will have breakfast, lunch and dinner times; the public is invited to dine for a small fee.

Domes also noted that people eating in the Dining Hall won’t be using trays as they did in years past.

“It goes right to our mission and values,” Domes said. “Not using trays allows us to save, on average, about 30 percent of water consumption from dishwashing every day because we won’t have to wash trays.”

Silver Lake College and Sodexo are committed to providing healthy food choices. With that in mind, people will be receiving more information about what they’re eating — like the amounts of calories and fats.

“That’s part of our responsibility as educators — to make sure we’re providing information for students about being healthy and creating a sense of wellness,” Domes said.

Overall, Domes is excited about the transformation in the Dining Hall.

“When you look at our Dining Hall project, it does several things for us,” he said. “It creates an environment that’s family focused, it helps us with sustainability, and it helps our students with wellness and health. All those things are very important to us as we look at continuing to develop our residential experience for our students.”


SLC Lobby Rendering – An artist rendering of the lobby renovation that will be taking place at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc. The rendering shows what the lobby will look like after Phase 1 and Phase 2 are completed. Phase 1 is set to begin in earnest next week, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. The view is looking south, as seen from someone walking through the main entrance to Main Hall.


SLC Dining Hall Rendering – An artist rendering of the Dining Hall renovation that is nearing completion at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc.