Howard W. Hewitt – Independent students will see a whole new Sparks dining hall this fall. Well, okay not all new but certainly a new look.

What started as a conversation about new furniture between Bon Appetit Manager Mary Jo Johnston and Chief Financial Officer Larry Griffith led to more than just new tables and chairs

All new furniture will include laminate table tops and a more contemporary chair. The big change will occur in Fobes Lounge which will be furnished with higher pub –style tables.

“Since the building isn’t going to change we wanted to give students something new to come back to and hopefully something they could be excited about,” Johnston said.

But there’s more. Four wrought iron tables with chairs will be placed on the back patio of Sparks for outside dining during nice weather.

But it’s the programing or “monotony breakers,” as Johnston calls them, that might make the biggest difference. She said Bon Appetit plans some cook outs this fall. And throughout the school year will make more effective use of the food stations.

She plans to invite visiting chefs to campus and put them at the food stations in the center of the dining halls.

The finishing touches will include removing a good number of the oil paintings of historic Wabash figures and replacing those with photography of student activities.

Johnston promises to promote the special events with announcements, table tents, and the Bon Appetit website.