Construction will soon be underway in the Reed Dining Commons at Northern Maine Community College. When classes begin in August, the 40-year-old facility will have been totally remodeled. This project is not just a cosmetic “facelift,” but a renovation that represents a huge step in updating the structure, health and safety compliance, kitchen equipment, furnishings, and the technological capabilities. The new dining room also includes updated internet accessibility, including the addition of USB ports near the tables lining the walls. The adjoining Keegan Meeting Room will be equipped with video conferencing capabilities.
One special aspect of the newly renovated facility will be the addition of a “Teaching Kitchen.” As envisioned, the teaching kitchen will offer basic cooking techniques and enhanced nutritional programming, with a focus on helping people adopt healthier eating and lifestyle habits. Programming will be available to the community as well as to students, faculty, and staff.
This modernized Reed Dining Commons symbolizes the next step in the NMCC’s on-going commitment to the development of a healthier workforce and population in Aroostook County.
“Employers consistently draw our attention to the importance of workers’ health and wellness, which contributes to reliability on the job. By providing our students access to better nutrition and information about personal health and well-being, we think we’re moving in the right direction. The Wellness Center was a big step for our community, and this project brings us closer to achieving our goal of healthy graduates, while also improving the health and awareness in our community,” said NMCC President Tim Crowley.
A $3.4 million gift from Mary Barton Smith, combined with resources from the NMCC Foundation and campus funds allow this project to move forward. This is the third facility at Northern Maine Community College related to health and wellness, which Mrs. Smith has supported with substantial donations. The first was the Smith Wellness Center, completed in 2013, followed by the gymnasium, completed in 2019.