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Nichols College

Learn. Lead. Succeed

Nichols College to Renovate Lombard Dining Hall

Artist rendering of Lombard Dining Hall renovation.

DUDLEY, Mass.— Nichols College will launch a multi-phase project to renovate the 43-year-old Lombard Dining Hall at 119 Center Road. Construction is scheduled to start Dec. 15 and is expected to be complete by 2021.

Plans for the dining hall project include: a reconfigured dining area; a Neapolitan-style brick oven for gourmet pizza, a larger deli sandwich station and an expanded, dual-sided self-serve soup-and-salad bar; a new cathedral ceiling and roof; new, energy-efficient windows for lots of additional natural light; new flooring, furniture, and décor; relocated and easily accessible entrance and exit doors and bathrooms; and new, independent serving stations to include “on-demand” hoods and variable-speed vents to manage energy consumption.

“The new Lombard will completely change the dining experience for our students,” said Director of Nichols Dining David Hebert. “It will be modern, inviting, and keep with today’s dining trends. We’re responding to what students want.

“We’re excited for the Nichols campus community to experience the new Lombard Dining Hall,” added Hebert. “The renovation will support the College’s mission, community, and Bison Pride—all deeply important to Nichols.”

Built in 1974, the 24,860-square foot dining hall last saw minor renovations in 2005, when it was dedicated as Lombard Dining Hall in honor of David Lombard ’65, trustee emeritus, and his wife, Susan. The lower level houses the Office of Facilities Management. This new project will add 1,500 square feet to the building. Its current capacity is 350 diners; the renovation project will increase it to approximately 450.

The facility serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner—approximately 2,000 meals per day—every day during the academic year to 940 residential students and 37 commuters who have meal plans, 40-60 faculty and staff, and to guests. Its operating hours are limited during student breaks.

The project will build on the successful design and construction of the academic building and Fels Student Center, which opened in 2015 and 2012, respectively.

“We had three goals to meet with the dining hall project: to modernize the dining experience for our students; eliminate all deferred maintenance; and, if at all possible, increase the capacity of the facility,” said Robert LaVigne, associate vice president for facilities management at Nichols College. “This design addresses all three goals.”

The $9 million project was approved in October by the Nichols College Board of Trustees. The Northampton, Mass.-based architectural firm Juster Pope Frazier LLC, which designed the academic building, has designed the Lombard renovation. Worcester, Mass.-based Lauring Construction is the contractor, and Crabtree & McGrath, a food service consulting firm from Georgetown, Mass., worked with the project committee on food trends. The project will be primarily funded through contributions from several donors. Center Road runs through the Nichols campus; disruptions to campus, the neighborhood, and motorists are not anticipated.


Nichols College is a college of choice for business and leadership education as a result of its distinctive career-focused and leadership-based approaches to learning, both in and out of the classroom. Founded in 1815, Nichols transforms today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders. Nichols serves students interested primarily in a comprehensive business education that includes a strong liberal arts foundation curriculum.


Lorraine U. Martinelle
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Nichols College | Learn. Lead. Succeed.
Dudley, Mass.
Email: | Twitter: @NicholsNewsroom

Artist rendering of Lombard Dining Hall renovation.