When classes begin in August 2020 at Northern Maine Community College, a new dining commons will greet the students and faculty.

Construction will soon be underway in the forty year-old Reed Dining Commons at NMCC. Officials say this project isn't a mere cosmetic "facelift," but a renovation that represents a huge step in updating the structure, along with health and safety compliance, kitchen equipment and more. The new dining room will also have updated internet accessibility. The adjoining Keegan Meeting Room will be equipped with video conferencing capabilities.

The new facility will have a "teaching kitchen" as well, offering basic cooking techniques and enhanced nutritional programming, with a focus on helping people adopt healthier eating and lifestyle habits.

A $3.4 million gift from Mary Barton Smith, combined with resources from the NMCC Foundation and campus funds allow this project to move forward. This is the third facility at Northern Maine Community College related to health and wellness, which Mrs. Smith has supported with substantial donations. The first was the Smith Wellness Center, completed in 2013, followed by the gymnasium, completed in 2019.

More From