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$17,570 table lights up Holloway Commons

Brendan Crockan, Contributing Writer

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Courtesy photo HoCo’s new light up custom table, part of the $10.5 million addition and renovation, cost $17,570 adding 16 seats.

Walking into Holloway Commons (HoCo) to grab a bite in the last few weeks, it would be hard not to notice the new light up table. This table is no ordinary piece of furniture; specifically designed for UNH by Seating Concepts, a Chicago-based company, it’s made with reclaimed metal railings from the original HoCo and features a controllable LED lighting system.

“A community table was a design element of the new building space,” dining hall operations director Jon Plodzik said. “We wanted to bring guests together around the experience of eating together.”

The table is the finishing touch to the multi-million dollar addition that HoCo has been going through over the last year.

“The table was part of the $10.5 million addition and renovation to Holloway Commons, which included all the new furniture and building components,” Plodzik said. “It cost $17,570, including delivery from the workshop in Chicago, which we considered reasonable for a custom piece of furniture made exclusively for UNH.”

  The table does more than just light up, as it adds 16 seats to the largest dining hall at UNH. The table will also have culinary demonstrations on one side of it, allowing guests to sit on the other end while enjoying the experience.

“There was always an additional community table designed into the addition of Holloway Commons by the architectural firm creating the space,” Plodzik said. “Having different types of seating options is desirable to meet the needs of our guests.”

The purpose of the table is also to draw members of the UNH and Durham communities into the dining hall to experience what it has to offer. The hope is that such an experience might entice visitors  to purchase a meal plan through the university.

Careful planning went into deciding precisely where the table should be set in the hall.

“Some would suggest it adds to the ambiance, experience and draw of guests to have a meal plan at UNH,” Plodzik said. “The location was chosen based on a number of factors, including visibility for others to watch what is happening on it, accessibility and guest flow around it.”

The table is able to bring both a flare and a new element to the dining experience, which few schools can say they have.

Though the table was a late arrival to the renovation, it’s possible it will be better publicized without the shadow of other major projects.

“I wish it had been completed when the rest of the addition was opened for the campus, but it’s nice that it’s late arrival has added to the experience,” Plodzik said.

Editor’s Note: As of April 20, 2016 at 8 p.m., Holloway Commons’ staff noted that the LED light display of the table was not working.

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10 Comments

10 Responses to “$17,570 table lights up Holloway Commons”

  1. Jeff on April 22nd, 2016 6:01 pm

    Really? We have the most expensive Public University System in the country and the University is pissing away money on a $17000 table for 16 and trying to justify it as a draw for the meal plan?? You have got to kidding me. Where is all the liberal outrage for educators who continue to make college un-affordable while pissing away money on the likes of this. They want to make college ‘free’ on the backs of tax payers while the elitist educators dream up ways to waste money because they know the cash cow is soon coming. What a shame!

    [Reply]

  2. Fitz Aerdale on April 22nd, 2016 7:57 pm

    Nice table. We’re NH residents for 110 years. I went to UNH. My son was accepted to 6 colleges including UNH, but he’s going to a private out-of-state college because UNH, tho’ it has an excellent science course, is more expensive.
    They have a really nice table there, but he doesn’t care about that. He thinks about college debt. You know – priorities.
    NH, remember those?.

    [Reply]

  3. Katherine on April 23rd, 2016 3:36 pm

    Why was this job not done instate, reducing the delivery costs?
    Why was the use of recycled materials not a factor in lowering the costs?
    Why is a controllable LED lighting system raised as a sort of super special feature that raises costs? I can get one of those at the hardware store right here in NH for less than 50 bucks.
    I am looking at this table and can confidently say that I can make one for way less than that, 5,000 is even a high ballpark and includes labor and delivery. Only someone in a community full of other people who have no idea of what really goes into manufacturing something would not see that and obviously, that is how this happened.

    [Reply]

  4. Katherine on April 23rd, 2016 3:43 pm

    PS, I’ll fix the LED lighting so that all that ambiance can continue it’s uimpeded flow into the area and I’ll only charge like 7 or 189 thousand or a million and a half dollars to do it too.

    [Reply]

  5. Billy The Kid on April 23rd, 2016 9:26 pm

    This was originally published by the Onion right?

    [Reply]

  6. Seth Goodnight on April 25th, 2016 4:23 pm

    Utterly ridiculous! The cold rooms in Spaulding are in DIRE need of renovation. They haven’t worked properly since 2012 when a fan actually rusted to pieces, but the renovation was deemed too expensive and has been put on hold indefinitely. The dining hall wants a $17,000 table? Sure, no problem.

    “I wasn’t going to buy a meal plan, but then I heard about the light up table.”
    -No one ever

    [Reply]

  7. Rob S on April 26th, 2016 12:42 am

    Are you serious ? Bernie morons would say that we need free education ? This is what happens when you give government anything. They waste it.

    [Reply]

  8. UNH STUDENT on April 28th, 2016 11:23 am

    Things like this are entirely why I choose to give my money to private housing and refuse to participate in UNH’s dining program. I would prefer to see my money go to a private housing corporation such as the Cottages, and purchase my own groceries or take out rather than condoning this type of behavior. UNH has effectively done the opposite for me, I will not be purchasing a single swipe, food or beverage from UNH effective immediately, budgeting behavior like this should not be tolerated. Whomever approved this should have their employment terminated immediately as they have proven themselves fiscally irresponsible with institution funds.

    [Reply]

  9. Matt on April 28th, 2016 10:58 pm

    Wow this is really cool! Great investment. Thank god you’re investing in a blinky table with spoons glued to it instead of investing in someone’s education. Sweet!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

  10. Scott Yates on April 28th, 2016 11:58 pm

    I’m (still) a proud UNH English/Journalism grad (’07). One of the most important things I learned that UNH, ironically, was how not to spend a lot of money. Teacher, educate thyself.

    [Reply]

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$17,570 table lights up Holloway Commons