• LaBella Associates

RIT Gracie’s Dining Hall Undergoes Extreme Makeover

LaBella Associates recently completed a large renovation of the Grace Watson Dining Hall, located on the RIT Campus. The dining hall, affectionately referred to as "Gracie’s," is the largest on campus, and had not seen a major renovation since the early 90s.


The second and final phase of renovation, which was completed this summer just in time to welcome back students, saw a major overhaul of the entire dining hall eating area. The new design expanded existing floor tiers within the space using metal framing and lightweight concrete; the space was gutted and new finishes were installed on all walls and floors, and a new ceiling system was provided at 21’ above. A central ceiling element accentuates the existing ramp that leads from the first-floor entrance area to the dining hall.

New lighting was designed for the space and includes a combination of linear, pendent, and large circular fixtures that greatly enhance the light levels in the space. All new furniture adds flexible seating options throughout, and a new handicap ramp makes the top tier of the dining hall accessible. A new glass conference room, fireplace, and stainless steel cable railings further compliment the design. This renovation took Gracies from a dated, worn state and turned it into a bright, clean, and endlessly functional dining hall space that will serve the university population for many years to come.