Kitchen Renovations Completed

Wednesday, 10/09/2019


The Gamma Iota kitchen project was completed in time for the students’ return for the school year in August. Construction was initiated in May 2019 after many months of planning. The initial effort included the dismantling of various pieces of kitchen equipment and the relocation of all items from both the kitchen and dining area.

This was accomplished by the undergraduates under the direction of Craig Lazenby, the project construction manager. Some innovative thinking went into selecting staging areas such as the city-side first floor rooms, the tech-side basement, and even the tech-side porch.

Equipment Removed

The radiators were removed and staged by Lyons Plumbing. The final element of equipment removal was the disposal of the old stove, griddle and convection oven by Westerman Equipment. Demolition was begun by Quality Contracting, Inc. (QCI) immediately following the clearing of the work area.

This effort included the removal of all the horsehair plaster and lathe from the walls, the removal of the ceiling sheetrock, and all old insulation. A problem with some collapsed brick in the fire wall was discovered and repaired (thanks Ralph Isabella for his financial contribution).


Some of the walls were modified for the project that included eliminating one of the kitchen windows to accommodate the new hood air handling system and the reconfiguration of the cook’s closet (a.k.a., pantry) for easier access and more storage (the door was eliminated). The door to the dining area was modified to swing into the dining area.

The existing kitchen epoxy floor was maintained. The reconstruction started in early July that included new water and gas plumbing for sinks and for cooking equipment and the tempered makeup air unit. Electrical work was needed to provide adequate power, lighting, and appropriate number of outlets and switches. New hookups were required for the new hood panel and for the fire alarm system. Insulation was placed in the walls followed by the installation of blue-board over which was installed FRP panels.

Blue board installation

FRP Panels over blue board

The ceiling was rebuilt and included wrapping exposed wooden beams. By the end of July, a new epoxy floor was installed over the existing floor in the kitchen which included a 4” epoxy cove base along the walls.

New epoxy kitchen floor

The opportunity to replace the existing tile floor in the dining area with epoxy while working in the kitchen was taken. A mitigation firm was hired to remove at least three layers of flooring which included asbestos tiles.

By the time they were done, the dining area floor was reduced to the original pine plank sub-floor. Saulnier Flooring was hired to install a new plywood sub-floor over which was placed an epoxy finished floor.

New epoxy dining room floor

New dining hall flooring

At the request of the Chapter, a Sigma Pi – Gamma Iota logo was built into the new floor at the Institute Road entrance.

Insignia in the floor

Then, the new stainless steel hood system was installed by Worcester Building Systems.

The new exhaust hood

The heated (tempered) makeup air and exhaust fan were located outside on pads under and near the fire escape.

Air Handling Equipment

Controls were located in the pantry.

Next, the four new stainless steel sinks were delivered by Westerman and installed along the kitchen east wall and our existing dishwasher was reconnected in its old spot.

New sinks

Following this, the new gas-fired stove, griddle, and convection oven were delivered by Westerman and hooked up in the same location as the old equipment.

Cooking Equipment

Then, stainless steel shelving was delivered and installed in the pantry and along both the north and east walls. 

Cooks closet with new shelving

New stainless work tables were delivered to complement an existing unit in order to provide sufficient work area for our chef.

A new fire suppression system was installed by Colby Fire Prevention and all of the radiators were replaced.

New fire suppression system

Finally, the new 2-door reach in stainless steel freezer and 2-door reach-in refrigerator were delivered. The existing 3-door unit was relocated to the breakfast area to replace the previous household refrigerators. The breakfast area was restored using existing base cabinets. The walls of the dining area have been painted to improve the look.

Chef Sean Reidy loves his new kitchen.

Chef Sean Reidy loves his new kitchen

The undergraduates sponsored a ribbon cutting party on August 26th during which Chef Sean prepared pizza and wings. A celebratory cake capped-off the proceedings.

Ribbon Cutting

The finishing touch.

The final touch