AUBURN – Central Maine Community College has broken ground for a cafeteria expansion.

“This facility was designed back in 1975 – when we had just a quarter of the number of students we will have this fall,” said Scott Knapp, college president. “Expanding the dining commons will allow us to serve more students, have longer hours and offer more choices. It will also give us the flexibility to host community groups that are on campus for training, conferences or other activities.”

Several dozen college employees and students were joined by workers from Davis and Hanscom Construction, the general contractor on the project, to celebrate the beginning of the work, which is scheduled to be completed by January. The project will nearly double the seating available at peak times by offering a second dining area that can also be used by community groups on campus.

Expanding the dining services has been a high priority for students; the Student Senate voted in 2000 to set aside part of their student activity fees to support the project.

Additional money has been allocated by the college, and the CM Education Foundation has included the project in its First Decade Campaign, which seeks to raise $750,000 for projects in the Lapoint Center and the college library, as well as the dining commons.

A mobile kitchen/dining unit will serve as temporary cafeteria for the fall semester and will be complemented by the Cyber Caf in Kirk Hall.

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