New menu, new turf, new labs among Florham Campus summer projects

Florham new turf

Summer improvements at the Florham Campus include brand new turf on Robert T. Shields Field and a completely renovated Snax eatery. (Photos by Dan Landau)

Snax renovations

By Kenna Caprio

While students were away for summer break — working, relaxing, interning, traveling, training and volunteering — construction and beautification projects got underway at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus.

“The projects with the highest priority are the ones that affect the most students,” says Peter Woolley, Florham Campus provost and senior vice provost for government and community affairs. This includes the new turf on Robert T. Shields Field, renovations at the Snax eatery and two new classrooms in the Hennessy Hall courtyard, an animation lab and another computer science lab, and more.

Snax is awaiting its final inspection and then will reopen soon, says Robert Valenti, associate vice president for auxiliary services. The eatery will offer “a new, healthier menu mirroring some of the types of selections at Leafs and Grains, with a more made-to-order appeal. Some of the old favorites, like ‘The Barn’ chicken sandwich, will remain,” continues Valenti. A new smoothies station, grab-and-go salad and sandwiches, plus new soups and premium coffee join the assortment of beverages and snacks available.

More than just the menu received an overhaul: “everything from the floor to the ceiling is completely renovated,” says Valenti. “That includes the windows, entrance, menu monitors, a flat panel TV over the fireplace and some very comfortable new furniture. It’s exciting, new, fresh and delicious!”

Other major campus updates and upgrades include: new HVAC units and complete bathroom renovations in the Village Residence Hall buildings 4, 5 and 6; a new roof on the Park Avenue Residence Hall, including roof structure and additional building waterproofing; a partial roof replacement on the Science Building; fresh campus signs and road repaving and pothole repair. The John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research has a new finance and operations lab and a “Smart” Classroom. The rear stair landing in Hennessy Hall was reconstructed and the Ferguson Rec Center received exterior waterproofing and building restoration.

“It's a long list of projects that were completed at the Florham Campus this summer — the changes to academic areas, residence halls and athletic fields plus asset preservation and infrastructure improvements will benefit the FDU community well into the future,” says Richard Frick, vice president for facilities and auxiliary services.

“Work of this extent is only possible through great team work and the efforts of many, including the Office of University Facilities and Auxiliary Services, Office of Information Resources Technology, Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology, Public Safety, Office of Finance and Office of the Provost as well as others. Together, we accomplished a lot, and I look forward to keeping this momentum going with the upcoming Fall projects,” Frick adds.

Several smaller projects — like a fresh coat of paint or touch-ups were done inside and outside of the Dreyfuss Building, the Student Center, the Stadler, Zenner, Hoffman-LaRoche Building and all residence halls. Trees were replaced near Hennessy Hall and the Student Center received HVAC system replacements.

"We take pride in our heritage campus which we both protect and enhance. Our aim is to invest smartly, keeping the balance between the original architectural intentions for the Florham Estate and the needs of a modern university,” says Woolley. “You will be seeing many more tasteful and dramatic improvements in the near future, including the renovation of our playing fields.”