UMD to Start Major Dining Center Upgrade Project

Northland Uncovered: UMD Dining

Loading up on breakfast, UMD students start their day on the right foot.

The students are in and out of the dining center constantly.

“Now being over 11,000 students, our traffic flow is very limited to what it was years ago,” Director of Dining Services Claudia Engelmeier explained.

The long lines haven’t always been there and soon the whole area will look very different.

“The walls are coming down, it’s a whole new concept, we have action stations, so it’ll be a lot more welcoming for our students,” said Engelmeier.

A new $5.2 million remodeling project will change the scene for the better.

“It’ll be totally gutted and kind of rebuilt from scratch,” said Engelmeier.

The center opened in 1974, so these upgrades are a long time coming, but for Engelmeier the changes are a little bittersweet.

“When I was a student here I loved it and I just never left,” she said.

She’s been here since before the dining center opened.

“I started here 34 and a half years ago,” she said.

The dining services was different back then, “I worked in what was called The Campus Club then, which it’s Griggs Center now, it was a private club for faculty and staff.”

Then it was on to catering and data entry for Engelmeier.

“Our boss at the time, just with the new computer system, thought we’d just kind of plug it in and it would start and run by itself, which he soon found out that’s not how it worked,” Engelmeier explained.

Engelmeier tells FOX 21 it’s the family she’s works with that she loves most about the job., We’ve all said we’ve kind of grown up together with raising our kids and our children getting married and off to school.”

There will be an ‘End of an Era’ dinner for students Wednesday night and the center will officially close Friday.

This weekend all of the equipment is being moved into the Ballroom where the students will eat until the project is complete.

The project is expected to take four and a half months to complete.  

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