Western Herald – University postpones building of new Valley dining hall

University postpones building of new Valley dining hall

Ambrosia Neldon
News Editor

According to an email from President John Dunn, the university has decided to postpone the building of the new Valley dining hall after the final assessment of the location proved that more than 500 trees would have to be removed to build the site.

Students Weston Hillier and Olivia Walser read a sign explaining the plans for the new Valley dining hall. Ambrosia Neldon/Western Herald

“We have decided to put a hold on the project to allow us to investigate alternative options,” Dunn said in the email.

Planning was scheduled to begin as soon as May 1.

“Our campus is a place of extraordinary beauty, and Goldsworth Valley, in particular, is home to some of our most scenic areas,” read the email. “The impact of removing so many trees from the environment was simply too great for us to consider moving forward with the project.”

Dunn said that the site was chosen based on input received from students regarding their wishes for a new cafeteria. He said the selection process was thorough, thoughtful and inclusive, but in the end, the university has decided that the location was not right for WMU’s campus community.

“I know that many people who worked on the project, including students who offered insights on design features, will be disappointed, and I regret that we were not able to accommodate both the needs of the campus and our commitment to sustainability,” read the email.

Dunn said that this hold means that the new dining hall will not be ready for use by fall semester of 2014 as planned, but that following an investigation of other possible locations, the university will continue to move forward with providing the best facilities for its students.

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