Brown Hall ribbon-cutting event scheduled for Sept. 14

The Western Carolina University Board of Trustees will join Chancellor David O. Belcher for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the newly renovated Brown Hall on Thursday, Sept. 14.

The formal ceremony, part of the trustees’ quarterly gathering, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the front steps of Brown Hall near the intersection of Centennial and Central drives. The event will include remarks by Belcher; Pat Kaemmerling, vice chair of the Board of Trustees; and Scott Lamond, resident district manager for Aramark, WCU’s food service partner.

A larger open house event for Brown Hall will be held in the near future, said Keith Corzine, assistant vice chancellor for campus services.

The 56-year-old structure formerly known as Brown Cafeteria has undergone a $22.5 million renovation and expansion. In addition to modern student dining facilities and a convenience store, the building houses offices for the departments of Residential Living, Campus Services and Student Community Ethics.

The hall boasts a mountain retreat-style dining setting called The Lodge and a food court with up to eight service stations offering complete meals; a stand-alone full-service Starbucks; and the first Steak ‘n Shake west of Asheville.

Brown Hall’s features include an exterior fire pit and water feature; a large, two-sided fireplace; wooden ceilings and giant community tables made of reclaimed wood; and an outdoor rooftop terrace offering al fresco dining.

Dining operations moved out of the structure in 2010 when Courtyard Dining Hall opened its doors in the central campus area, but the continuous increase in student enrollment since then has created demand for additional food service venues.