The third week of classes began to feel a whole lot more like normal for Alfred State students and the ACES team as one of the dining hall serving lines opened for the first time since last spring's kitchen fire.
"The damage from the fire was not that extensive," stated Karen Canne, ACES director of dining services. "However, the amount of work that we had to do to recover from the fire was devastating to our normal operations."
On March 30, 2007, a dryer in the Central Dining Hall caught fire which required the complete evacuation of the building. No one was hurt in the incident, as local firefighters quickly contained the smoke and the fire. At the time, the ACES management team expected the repairs to the kitchen to continue through the summer. Cleaning and repair of the building had to be turned over to the Office of General Services (OGS) for New York State, which provides support for non-profit organizations in the SUNY system.
"Although we thought that we would be fully up and running at least by the fall semester, we ran into some unplanned issues during the clean-up," Canne stated. "The OGS had to handle some asbestos abatement issues and our main kitchen is still out of service.
"Getting one of our service lines up and running is so critical to improving our performance and satisfying our student customers," Canne added. "We're excited to be one step closer to normal operations."
Immediately after the fire, ACES worked with local restaurants and Alfred University Dining Services to continue providing meals to students. ACES also reopened a campus kitchen that had been closed in the early 1990s in order to keep dining services open on campus.
The Central Dining Hall kitchen is now expected to open by spring semester 2008.
Auxiliary Campus Enterprises & Services (ACES) is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the mission of Alfred State College. ACES is located on campus and provides dining services, campus bookstore, transportation, vending, and laundry services to its customers.