The Dining Hall Renovation

Maximizing the Dining Hall’s Potential as a Hub of Community Life

A Hotchkiss education is not limited to the classroom. As a residential school, a core part of our mission is to foster a community that supports learning and growth in all areas of student life. The Dining Hall is the soul of that community: a place where everyone comes together, where mentoring relationships thrive, where students form memories that define their Hotchkiss experience. 

As part of our initiative to strengthen community life, we need to renovate the Dining Hall to maximize its role as a vital hub of community life. The Dining Hall will be a vibrant point of connection for students, teachers, coaches, and staff – the place where we gather in small groups and as a community. In recent years, higher enrollment has pushed the limits of the current space, which has gone without a significant upgrade since the 1940s. With your help, we can improve the existing footprint to better support the needs of our students, faculty, and staff. 

Dining Hall Exterior East Side Perspective

Hotchkiss Dining Hall | Exterior South Entrance Perspective

Dining Hall Exterior South Entrance Perspective

Dining Hall Looking Northeast

East Addition

Our Goal

To provide a more welcoming and comfortable space for meals, conversation, and community gatherings, the Dining Hall requires a thorough renovation that will increase seating capacity to 525. The project also includes plans for a much-needed, more efficient, modern kitchen as well as changes to the servery to create better pedestrian flow at peak mealtimes. We have also built in many ways to highlight the farm-to-table program and other distinctive elements of our dining philosophy.


Dining Hall

Last renovated in 1946 when Hotchkiss’s enrollment was 320 students — a little more than half the size of today’s student body — the Dining Hall has changed little, with minimal improvements to the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. While mealtimes remain critically important to building a sense of togetherness, the quality of the dining experience at Hotchkiss has suffered for its outdated infrastructure.



Luke Foyer Looking South


Dining Hall Renovation Details
Estimated Cost: $35-40MM

Bowie Gridley Architects has been contracted for this project. While we are in the early stages of the design process, the estimated total project cost includes all aspects of construction, design, and temporary dining accommodations.

Key design elements will include:

  • Expansion from 342 seats to 525
  • Completely rebuilt and expanded servery and kitchen
  • Creation of spacious access points to avoid overcrowding at peak times
  • New east dining room for expanded seating capacity and ability to bring more natural light into the space
  • New back dining room with expanded capacity from 15 to 30 seats
  • Complete overhaul of all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems
  • Numerous collaboration rooms for group study, classes, and meetings connected to the main Dining Hall
  • New student activity spaces on the lower level
  • Redeveloped south lawn for social gatherings and events
  • New southeast terrace for outdoor seating and gathering in warmer months
  • New northeast entrance to provide better connectivity to campus life
  • New south entrance with restored and updated Luke Foyer
  • New trash/recycling and loading dock area with better screening and more efficient systems

An Opportunity to Play a Role

Please join us in making the renovation and expansion of the Dining Hall possible. Your support is a direct investment in the Hotchkiss student experience, and with your help, we will restore the Dining Hall as a pivotal gathering space.

Naming Opportunities

Named spaces are available at various levels of leadership giving, as noted below:

Naming the Dining Hall $20,000,000
Main Dining Room $7,000,000
Servery $5,000,000
New East Dining Room $2,500,000
Kitchen/Back of House $2,500,000
Back Dining Room $1,000,000
Terrace $1,000,000
Social Lawn $750,000
Collaboration/Break-out Rooms (3) $500,000


Download Project Brochure

For further information, please contact Josh Hahn, assistant head of school and director of strategic initiatives, at (860) 435-3151.