Dining space renovations to occur over summer

Dining space renovations to occur over summer.


Brian Phillips

Photo courtesy of Brian Phillips, Senior Director of Facilities Management

Sarah Pineda, Writer

UPDATED: MAY 19 AT 9:57 P.M.

Common Grounds and Eagle’s Nest await approval to begin new outdoor dining renovations over the summer which include a new awning, heaters and planters.

The Next Improvement

Biola’s campaign, “A Soul of Conviction A Voice of Courage,” will fund the improvement of the new outdoor space. With past constructions of the Fireplace Pavilion, the skylight cafeteria seating area and Heritage Cafe, the outside area of Common Grounds and Eagle’s Nest is scheduled for the next improvement.  

“We want to create the sense that this is a dining place. Right now, we just have tables and people just walking through stuff,” said Brian Phillips, senior director of facilities management.

The design plan includes an awning to cover both eating venues for any type of weather, skylights to provide natural light, heaters, new lighting and plants throughout. The plan also includes an artistic focal point on the walls of the Biola Bookstore.

“The covered awnings makes for a nice outdoor setting for eating and it’s very practical to have people eat outside in all kinds of weather,” Phillips said.

Construction Work

The plans have been developed, but the construction cannot begin until the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works Building and Safety approves the plan, which can take a minimum of eight weeks. If the renovations begin late and continue into the fall 2015 semester, Phillips assures students Common Grounds and Eagle’s Nest will remain open during construction.

“As the population has grown on campus, the food venues have really been put under pressure and we just have to try to make sure we have enough dining capacity for everyone,” Phillips said.

Mixed Feelings

Students expressed mixed feelings towards the improvements to the outdoor area used on a daily basis. Visiting the area about once or twice a day, freshman nursing major Amanda Severson does not see the need of creating a new awning.

“I think it’s kind of unnecessary. We live in California, the weather doesn’t really get that bad,” Severson said.

Yumi Saito, sophomore intercultural studies major, enjoys meeting with friends in the outdoor area since she believes the dorms provide no tables around their buildings for meeting with friends.

“I think that will be really great, right now they have space where you can sit and chat, but I think they can make it look prettier,” Saito said.  

Additional Renovation

In addition to the renovation of the outdoor dining area, Emerson Hall will also be renovated in order to be completed for the Humanities offices in January 2016. North Hall’s construction will come to an end with a completion date set for June 2015. Once all work is finished, staff will undergo training on how to operate the building.

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