Grotto Commons opens at Mercyhurst

The incoming freshmen were greeted with a modernized cafeteria, including accessible food stations.
The incoming freshmen were greeted with a modernized cafeteria, including accessible food stations. | File photo
Mercyhurst unveiled its new cafeteria in time for the incoming freshmen's first dinner.

Four hours before the renovated cafeteria opened, architect Shelane Buehler was carrying chairs into the room. Final preparations were being completed as the countdown ticked down to opening time.

“We’ll be ready,” Buehler said. “Just a few finishing touches, that’s all that’s left.”

The $3 million Grotto Commons dining hall renovation is the first large capital project under President Michael Victor. The renovation began the day after graduation, on May 23 and was completed on launch day. Mercyhurst funded the project with capital funds and $2 million contributed by Parkhurst Dining, the university's food service partner.  

“We are enormously grateful to Parkhurst for working with us to heighten the dining experience for our college community, particularly our students,” Victor said. “This is a perfect example of the power of cultivating relationships. Our beautiful campus has always had that certain WOW factor, and now our dining hall will, too.”
 
The incoming freshmen were greeted with a modernized cafeteria, including accessible food stations, flex seating and group gathering sites. The renovation included new furnishings and new food service equipment.
 
Parkhurst has remained at the forefront of the college dining experience. The eclectic food choice and modern methods of food safety and waste reduction reflect Mercyhurst's and Parkhurst's dedication to innovation in cafeteria operations. 

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