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AIC Breaks Ground for New Dining Commons

SPRINGFIELD — After a winter for the record books, American International College (AIC) recently celebrated spring and the future of dining in style with a groundbreaking ceremony in anticipation of the college’s $8 million renovation to its dining commons.

The new, state-of-the-art facility will expand upon the existing dining-commons space and include a wider variety of seating along with a more abundant variety of food options and services, including customized food preparation, an open-concept kitchen complete with a Mongolian grill, a wood-fired pizza oven, and more, all presented in a contemporary, open setting.

Guests and speakers at the event included AIC graduate U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (who also attended AIC), college board of trustee members, and AIC President Vincent Maniaci, who said, “the dining commons is the heart of social interaction between and among students, faculty, and staff. This new dining commons will greatly benefit our current students by providing a spectacular dining experience and meeting center for social engagement.”

Compass Foodservice CEO Steve Sweeney donated $1,500 to the local food pantry on behalf of its subsidiary, Chartwells, the leading higher-education food-service company in the world and provider for AIC.

Speaking on behalf of the 1,700 undergraduate students at AIC, Student Government Assoc. representative and sophomore Rebecca Gray said, “it’s long overdue, and we’re very much ready for the new programming space and the new dining facilities, and it’s going to be a lot more modern and a lot more comfortable. I am so excited. Being only in my second year, it is really nice to see the school making so much change.”

While there was a cosmetic remodel of the dining room in 2007, the last complete renovation of the college’s dining commons was in 1966, nearly 50 years ago. Construction currently involves seven local Massachusetts companies working on the project. The project is expected to be completed in time for the beginning of the fall semester.

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