The Caf’s Dedication
Over the past two years, Hardin-Simmons University’s cafeteria, known as the Caf, has been under construction. During this time, the university implemented clever solutions to ensure students continued to have access to food and space, even though construction was ongoing. Portions of the cafeteria and kitchens were sectioned off at a time to ensure service was never interrupted. Temporary walls, storage, coolers, and kitchens were orchestrated throughout the two years to keep the student experience as “normal” as possible, and on September 7, 2023, the campus celebrated the project’s completion with a dedication ceremony.
Current senior Avery Ashford fondly remembers the Caf before the renovations. “It was small and dated,” Ashford said about the space before. “I think we needed to renovate it so that we could fit more students in, and it would be more comfortable.”
The cafeteria will now seat over 500 students at a time, with the addition of booths, benches, and individual seating options, plus a separate dining space with a fireplace and glass wall for more privacy. Food options have also been expanded.
Sophomore student Joseph Howard doesn’t remember a time before the updated Caf’s renovations, having joined the campus when construction was underway. He is excited about the space’s new open floor plan. “The Caf is very open, making it easy to see people. I think it’s a good place for everyone to get to know one another.”
Throughout the construction process, students, faculty, and staff prayed over the space. The HSU community was invited multiple times to write Bible verses and words of encouragement on beams, drywall, and other materials as the space progressed. “That whole set-up was very God-centered,” Howard said. “They wanted it to be a place of not just food and community, but of worship as well.”