By Julian Brenman ’20

As we, the members of the Friends’ Central community, become more accustomed to dining in the Rex Gym, the closer we come to our soon-to-be reality: eating in Shallcross Hall once again. Construction has reached a peak, and now, more than ever, hard work is being done by tens of talented and devoted workmen. I recently took my third behind-the-scenes construction tour of the construction site and was amazed to see just how much the project has progressed since my last visit in December. Scroll down to read some F.A.Q.s, as well as to see some exclusive pictures. As always, thank you to Mr. Thomas McDaniel for dedicating his time, which is what allows this renovation coverage to be possible.

Top Three Construction-Related F.A.Q.s with Expert Answers:

When Can the Building Be Occupied?

According to Mr. McDaniel, the cafeteria will be occupiable by April 6th. He explains, “Our hope is that by April 6th, the majority of the construction will be done, and people will be able to be in the new dining hall. At that time, it will be able to be used for gatherings and banquets, and stuff like that. However, daily meals probably won’t be served in there until about a month after that, because it will take Mr. Rosenbaum and his team some time and effort to ‘move in’-to transport all of their food and stuff back to this building, and to really get it running again.”

Will the Project Affect our Daily Lives? If So, How?

In a word, “minimally.” Mr. McDaniel elaborates, “Over spring break, the temporary corridor which is now used as the way students and staff get from the outside into the meeting room will be closed for about a week and a half. During that time, the team will be renovating that space and the area around it. Hopefully, when you guys come back from break, that will be done, and there will be free access to the meeting room again.”

What Progress Has Been Made So Far?

The bothersome banging and racket we all hear when we’re in and around Shallcross Hall aren’t just annoying – they are concrete signs that the project is moving along. Here are four things that have changed since December:


  1. All major walls and frames have been installed, and the outline of the new areas is carved out and recognizable.
  2. Kitchen equipment, such as industrial freezers, refrigerators, dishwashers, and a fume hood, have all arrived on-site and are in the process of being installed.
  3. The area outside the new side entrance has been excavated.
  4. New first floor bathrooms have been completely gutted and remodeled. See before-and-after pictures of the restrooms below.
    Construction Manager David Lucey walks us through the shell of the new industrial refrigerator and freezer.


See the future home of the teaching kitchen take shape.


The carve-out of the area which will soon comprise of the conveyor belt dishwashing system.


Terry and Jimmy, two terrific members of the demolition crew, pause their hard work for a moment to pose for the camera.


A wide view of the developing cafeteria.


An inside view of the newly excavated hole, which will soon house the new exterior stairwell people will use to access the dining hall from the Felsen Common.
Josh the electrician hard at work wiring the lights.


The outdated men’s room sinks and mirrors.


The fresh and beautiful marble-finish sinks and the modern mirror in the new men’s room.

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