The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 23, 2013

St. Francis freshens dining experience

LORETTO — Students at St. Francis University are dining in style.

The university held a grand re-opening celebration of the newly renovated Torvian Dining Hall on Wednesday, and in addition to the new look, healthier foods are being promoted.

“Everyone did a beautiful job and there is a newness and refreshed atmosphere to it,” said university President Father Gabriel Zeis prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This will meet the needs of all who dine here.”

The project began in December during the holiday break and finished on Jan. 5, in time for students returning to class.

It involved installing new flooring and carpeting, painting, wallpapering and updating lighting fixtures.

“We wanted to give it a fresher, cleaned-up look,” said Leo Cavanaugh, general manager of dining services. “It feels more welcoming and brighter in here now.”

A Flash Fitness station that offers lighter fare choices such as lean meats, fresh vegetables and vegetarian selections is now being promoted.

“It’s a twist on healthy dining, and we want to put that option out there to the students,” Cavanaugh said.

In addition, Parkhurst Dining, the food service provider at the university, periodically plans to bring in traveling chefs from other Pankhurst-managed schools who will prepare food to order using authentic and fresh ingredients.

On Wednesday students could choose between a Korean spicy pork dish, a margarita salad or rice noodles with stir fry vegetables.

“We like to offer a variety and something students don’t get all the time,” Cavanaugh said.

Executive Chef Terry McMullen said the dining hall staff works with students to gather input on what food selections they would like to see offered.

“The students love when we do theme meals. We do those about twice a month. So we like to mix it up so it doesn’t get boring,” he said.

Torvian Dining Hall is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to the public.

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