(VALLEJO, Calif. – June 5, 2012) – The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University (CSU), broke ground today on the campus's brand new 26,200 square-foot waterfront dining center. Donning hard hats and shoveling the ceremonial first dirt were Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt, Cadet Steven Schreckengost '13, the design and construction management team from the CSU Chancellor's Office, and the design and build teams of FLAD Architects and McCarthy Building Companies.

The new dining center, which is expected to open in Fall 2013, will replace the current outdated dining facility that was built in 1954 to accommodate 130 cadets. With today's enrollment of nearly 900 students, the new facility will be a much-needed improvement to the campus.

“Eleven years ago when I first arrived on campus, one of the most frequently heard criticisms of campus by students concerned their food service," said Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt. "The current dining hall had been in constant operation for more than 55 years with little or no renovation or modernization. Accordingly, it was difficult to make a substantive improvement in the dining experience noticed by students when their surroundings were so antiquated. Today we are beginning to address that long-standing need with this groundbreaking that will result in beautiful surroundings and contemporary food service facilities.”

The new facility, which is being funded through fees paid by cadets on the meal plan, will include two stories as well as a mezzanine level. The first level and mezzanine will accommodate 450 students at a time for dining. The second level can be divided into three meeting rooms or one large room that can accommodate 300 people.

"Our student population has increased so much over the past 15-20 years; not only is our current dining facility outdated, it doesn't hold the capacity for our current student body," said Chaz West '13, executive president of the Associated Students of The California Maritime Academy. "Everybody is very excited to see the project get underway, and even more excited to be able to get in and use the facility."

The project has been nominated for a Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability  Best Practice Award for being highly energy efficient in the use of building siding, day lighting, natural ventilation, and highly efficient radiant floor heating. It will be featured later this month at The California Higher Education Sustainability Conference, which highlights cutting-edge research, as well as case studies with proven successes in curriculum development, operational programs, and community partnerships.

Photo Caption: (left to right): Andrew Cunningham, Principal, FLAD Architects; Frances Choun, Vice President of Business Development, McCarthy Construction; Larry Piper, Chief of Facilities Planning, California State University; Bill Eisenhardt, President, Cal Maritime; Steven Schreckengost '13, Cal Maritime cadet.

Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus offers undergraduate degrees that prepare students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.