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Superior Dining Grand Opening

Superior Dining Center
September 14, 2016

A hearty remodel with a side of Superior, as UMD celebrates the grand opening of its new dining center.

UMD is celebrating the grand opening of Superior Dining, UMD’s completely renovated Dining Center, on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 2 – 4 p.m. A ribbon cutting will kickoff the bash and tours of the new facility will follow. Superior Dining is located off of 1120 Kirby Drive.

The former Dining Center closed in March for a four-month, $5.2 million modernization. It reopened two weeks ago at the start of the school year.

Claudia Engelmeier, director of Dining Services, says it was getting hard to feed modern Bulldogs in the 1974 building. “When it was built four decades ago, UMD served 900 students. Today there are 3,100 meal contracts,” she explains. “We were constantly blowing fuses because need exceeded the facilities electricity capacity.

Beyond the nuts and bolts, the upgrade created a space that better accommodates today’s students. The restrooms were updated and a gender inclusive restroom was added. There’s now a gluten free/allergen area, a dietician is housed inside Superior Dining, and the partnership with UMD’s farm, which sells 38,000 pounds of produce for campus, is a focal point. 

Engelmeier adds that her staff is enjoying 100 less elevator trips each day, now that cooler and freezer storage is on the same floor as Superior Dining.

Because it’s on stilts, the remodel was contained to the original footprint. Architect ARI created the illusion of more space by opening it up, surfacing cement pillars with reclaimed wood, and offering varied seating.

The remodel was funded by Dining Services.


Before the Dining Center was built, a cafeteria in the Kirby Student Center served students.

Dormitories were added to campus in the late1960s and with them there was a need for a dining facility.

A committee began addressing UMD’s dining squeeze in 1966. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in 1971 and the Dining Center was used for students beginning in 1974.