Beacon College Dining Hall

Leesburg, Florida

  • Client: Beacon College
  • Size: 6,800 sq. ft.
  • Location: Leesburg, FL
  • Market Sector: Education
  • Date Completed: 2022

The Lunz Group worked with Beacon College to replace/renovate approximately 6,800 SF of the existing dining space in a historic building in downtown Leesburg, FL. This new facility provides improved food service, outdoor seating, a pocket park, barbecue area and a multifunctional indoor seating space.  

Beacon College and the City of Leesburg, FL, have long partnered to preserve the historic nature of the City’s downtown while making thoughtful investments in campus and City beautification efforts. One such building being used as a student dining facility suffered from a cramped layout, poor lighting and an obsolete food service area.  

A vision emerged to design a gainful opportunity for students as well as the City through an investment that went beyond the building itself. To accomplish this, the 1923 building would have to be demolished. They could, however, reclaim much of the original brick for a historic look to a modern building, and include a ‘pocket park,’ transforming an adjoining alleyway into a City beautification project.  

The Lunz Group was hired to design this transformation. After beginning design work for the new dining hall in the summer of 2019, Beacon College approved the designs in the summer of 2020 and construction was completed in the Fall of 2021.  

Many unknowns were discovered during or after demolition of the site. The adjacent building shared a wall with the dining hall site, and was set up to drain all of its water into the now-demolished location. A new downspout system had to be designed to ensure that both new and old buildings could effectively drain the runoff.  

Historic preservation also emerged as a major challenge, and supply chain issues caused further reevaluation and substitution. In the end, compromises were negotiated to satisfy the needs of both the City and students.   

The new facility includes 6,872 SF of interior space with seating, service and kitchen areas. The interior features a warm, open and industrial look with exposed ducts and electric tubes. Wood-like panels and LVT flooring complete a balanced design that complements the rest of the campus and the City.  

Inside, projectors and flexible seating arrangements make the space even more useful for various campus events. Outside, an additional 750 SF under roof includes outdoor seating as well as a barbecue area for special events.  

Adjacent, the pocket park features a large water fountain as well as beautifully placed landscaping and seating areas. Reclaimed brick from the original facility is used in the façade, and a replica of the building’s original dedication plate highlights the historic nature of the site.  

Beacon College students now have additional multipurpose spaces, as well as improved food services in a brand new dining hall. The City of Leesburg has a beautiful new building and pocket park that add to the historic downtown atmosphere.  

The Lunz team worked closely throughout the design process with our team, comprised of Schmid Construction, Inc., our contracting partner, OCI Consulting Engineers (MEP/FP Engineering), Grindley Williams Engineering (Structural Engineering), and Kimley-Horn (Civil Engineering).