Hiram College

Hiram College celebrated the grand re-opening of the renovated Kennedy Center Main Lounge on April 8, 2014.

AVI Foodsystems, which has provided food and catering services for Hiram College for five-and-a-half years, made a donation to fund the redesign and remodeling of the student center lounge. Hiram College President Thomas V. Chema and Anthony Payiavlas, President and CEO of AVI, led a celebration of not only the renovated space, but the vibrant relationship between the two institutions.

“Today marks not only a transformation of space – and you can see how wonderful it is,” Chema said, “but it is also reflective of the terrific relationship that Hiram College has developed with AVI and the Payiavlas family.”

AVI provides food service for education institutions and businesses across the country. Its headquarters is in Warren, and Payiavlas said the company’s partnership with Hiram College has always been special because of its proximity.

“It’s so different when you do business with your own community,” he said. “We appreciate all of our clients at AVI, but it is a little bit more special when it’s local. One thing that President Chema has always been a champion of, is patronizing your community.”

Along with providing conceptual design and management of the project, AVI’s gift funded:

  • Minor demolition
  • New floor covering
  • New wall covering
  • New coordinated paint treatment
  • New accent panels
  • New ceiling panels
  • New accent lighting
  • New lounge style/club style seating
  • New accent/study tables
  • New booth treatment

The renovations, completed in February 2014, brought a more modern, open feel to the main lounge area of the Kennedy Center, connecting its design with the nearby Bistro. Chema said he is pleased that more students have been frequenting the area since the renovations.

“What was at one time the least used part of this building has now become a space that students are, virtually throughout the day,” he said.

Chema, Payiavlas, AVI staff and several students capped off the ceremony with a ribbon cutting and a creative presentation of AVI cuisine.

Photos by Kasey Samuel Adams.