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An Update on the Dining Hall and Community Commons Project: May 2019

Dear Friends,

The Dining Hall and Community Commons Project will bring a revitalized dining hall and central commons space to campus, fostering new opportunities for community building and meaningful engagement among our students, faculty, and staff, and serving as a model for sustainable design. The project is grounded in the desire for a space that is welcoming, inclusive, and accessible to our diverse Swarthmore community. It will also reimagine the College’s dining program to better meet the needs of our students and other community members.


In close collaboration with the project architect and dining consultants, the project’s programmatic and steering committees spent the spring gathering input and insight from our community. The engagement process involved a series of open sessions, workshops, interviews, and surveys, and offered students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to share their experiences dining, socializing, and learning on campus. The findings from this engagement process will closely inform the schematic design of the renovated Sharples Dining Hall and community commons space as well as the design of the updated dining program.


After sharing a summary a few weeks ago, we are pleased to now be able to share additional information. We invite you to view reports from the project architects and dining consultants to see their findings and learn more how they may influence the project’s schematic design, the immediate area surrounding Sharples, and food service and operations across campus, including Essie Mae’s, the Science Center Coffee Bar, Kohlberg Coffee Bar, and merchants in the Borough.

Next Steps

Science Center Coffee Bar Summer Renovation

This summer, we will undertake a small but significant renovation of the Science Center Coffee Bar that will begin to shape the space into a more unified and defined area. With Maxine Frank Singer ‘52 Hall to be completed next summer, enhancements to the coffee bar will begin to make food, drinks, and snacks more readily available in that area of campus. Renovations will begin soon after commencement, and the updated coffee bar will open when the Fall semester begins. With the Science Center Coffee Bar closed this summer for renovation, the Kohlberg Coffee Bar will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning on Monday, June 3, 2019.

Dining Hall and Community Commons Schematic Design Process

The next phase of this project will be to develop the building’s schematic designs. Our goal is to create a design that both reflects and facilitates the College’s updated dining program and the dining hall and community commons program, both of which are being developed based on this spring’s engagement process. Building on this work, the schematic design phase will begin in June and run through September. We will share a further update, including preliminary designs, in the fall.

Please visit the Dining Hall and Community Commons project site for more information about the project’s mission and timeline. You may also reach out to Anthony Coschignano, assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services, at with any questions.

On behalf of the Dining Hall and Community Commons Project Executive Steering Committee,

Greg Brown, Vice President of Finance and Administration   

Anthony Coschignano, Assistant Vice President, Auxiliary Services

Susan Smythe, ADA Program Coordinator, and Senior Project Manager

Andy Feick, Associate Vice President for Sustainable Facilities Operation and Capital Planning

Linda McDougall, Director, Dining Services

Ed Rowe, Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College

James Terhune, Vice President and Dean of Students

Andrew Barclay, Director of Student Activities

Rachel Head, Assistant Dean and Director for Student Engagement