On the Horizon: The Hotchkiss Dining Commons
A Message from Head of School Craig Bradley to the Community

Dear Hotchkiss Community,

It is my great pleasure to announce one of the largest capital improvement projects in Hotchkiss’s history: The Hotchkiss Dining Commons. Set to open in the fall of 2025, this new facility will be the heart and hearth of the School, a venue where students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors gather for meals and to learn, laugh, hangout, and simply enjoy being together.

Hotchkiss | Dining Commons Rendering

Architect’s rendering: View of the southeast corner

What do we have to look forward to? The Dining Commons will nearly double current seating capacity, allowing 525 people to dine together. The facility will offer indoor and outdoor multi-use spaces for class work, meetings with teachers and advisors, group study, club meetings, gathering with friends, and more. It will feature a large, modern servery with numerous food stations as well as self-cooking options to stir fry, make omelets, and press panini. It will allow the School to deepen what is already a robust farm-to-table program with enhanced food, farm, and environmental programming. Above all, it will serve as a warm, welcoming space for all members of the community.
If you would like to support the new Dining Commons, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Ninette Enrique.

Every campus resident since 1948 is deeply familiar with the Hotchkiss Dining Hall. While this is a throughline of the Hotchkiss experience, little has changed since the building was built 75 years ago. Today’s Dining Hall seats less than half of the community at a time, and improvements over the last 75 years to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems have been minimal. While mealtimes remain critically important to building a sense of togetherness, the quality of the dining experience at Hotchkiss has suffered given this outdated infrastructure.

The new Dining Commons will be a thoroughly modern facility, yet it will maintain the character of Hotchkiss. Modernized classical Georgian style will bring light and warmth to a familiar and well-loved space that will retain many touches from the past: wood paneling and paintings, round tables and wooden chairs, flags representing the home country of every current Hotchkiss student, an expanded Luke Foyer, and refurbished oak paneling commemorating the names of decades of Hotchkiss award winners.  

Hotchkiss Dining Commons

Architect’s rendering: New servery

Hotchkiss Dining Commons

Architect’s rendering: Interior entrance from the Main Building

The new Dining Commons, which will serve generations of students to come while remaining familiar to those from generations past, is important to the forward momentum of the School. Thanks to the generosity of Hotchkiss alumni, parents, grandparents, and friends, we have successfully raised 80% of the full cost of the project. Still, a shortfall remains. Therefore, we are actively fundraising for this project, and we are eager to partner with donors. 

In sharing my enthusiasm about this project with you, I am mindful that not all students in the community will have the opportunity to enjoy the new Dining Commons during their time on campus. Beginning in the second semester this year, the current Dining Hall will be taken offline, and we will transition to a temporary dining solution to be created in the William and Martha Ford Indoor Tennis Courts building. Members of the current senior and upper-mid classes will graduate before the new Dining Commons opens. With this in mind, we are committed to creating a temporary dining experience filled with student-friendly options, food trucks, BBQs, and more to create as much fun for students as possible during the construction period.

We will provide periodic updates on the project as it takes shape. For family members of current students, we are including time in the Family Weekend schedule to share more details about the project and how it will affect your student’s experience at Hotchkiss.   

To all who have given, and to all whose gifts are still to come, we are deeply grateful. It is your generosity, and that of everyone who supports Hotchkiss, that makes great things possible. Together, we can do even more. 

All good wishes,
Craig W. Bradley
Head of School

Hotchkiss Dining Commons

Architect’s rendering: Lt. Col. James Lindsay Luke Foyer

If you would like to support the new Dining Commons, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Ninette Enrique.

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