Campus News

One World Café construction brings changes to campus building access

Barriers are set up on Founders Plaza and in front of Capen Hall as construction gets under way for One World Café.

Barriers have been set up on Founders Plaza and in front of Capen Hall as construction progresses on One World Café. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki


Published January 27, 2020

“The fastest, easiest route between Capen, Talbert and Norton halls is through the ground floor. When in doubt, start there. ”
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director
Campus Planning

Construction has begun on One World Café on the university’s North Campus.

The project is being built around and under the existing overhangs of Capen and Norton halls, one of the busiest crossroads on the UB campus.

Seating more than 500 patrons, One World Café will meet the demand for expanded dining facilities among a growing campus population, bringing authentic, internationally themed food choices and expanded community space to UB.

While engaging the broader goals of UB’s Heart of the Campus initiative — improving living and learning spaces at UB — the launch of a major construction project in one of the most heavily trafficked areas on campus will be disruptive to the university community.

“The construction of One World Café will affect everyone on the North Campus, and there is no getting around that it will be a long and arduous process,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School.

“Members of the steering committee, the university and our construction manager, Turner Construction, are very much aware that our students, faculty and staff will be inconvenienced and find their normal routes through what is now a construction site disrupted. Faculty and students may wish to take extra time to find their classes this week.

“We will be doing everything we can to communicate what will be happening, when and where, and assist members of our UB community in their travels across campus,” adds Hammill, who is also chair of the One World Café steering committee.

Because of construction barriers, a person uses a door with a sign that reads, "temporary Capen entrance.".

A pedestrian uses a temporary entrance to access Capen Hall. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Tonga Pham, associate vice president for university facilities, notes that University Facilities is working diligently to minimize confusion.

“Actions we will be taking include placing new wayfinding signage at building entrances, elevators, stairwells and hallways to redirect traffic to the most efficient routes, and also assign volunteers in high-traffic locations to assist with direction,” Pham says.

“In addition, we plan to rename elevators in Capen Hall to simplify getting to Silverman Library and administrative offices, and create a One World Café construction website to provide periodic construction updates.”

Initial laminated signs are designed to be temporary to allow for changes, additions and other adjustments. Pham says permanent, more robust signage will be fabricated and installed once final corrections are made to the temporary laminates.

“The fastest, easiest route between Capen, Talbert and Norton halls is through the ground floor,” says Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director of campus planning. “When in doubt, start there.

“Ground floor walkways between Capen, Talbert and Norton will always remain open. If you want to stay indoors, stay on the ground floor,” McAlonie adds.

Pham, McAlonie and other managers and professional staff members representing University Facilities, Campus Planning, and Facilities Design and Construction, who are working to minimize confusion and inconvenience for university community members during this period, say as construction moves forward, some wayfinding and re-routing through the site may change with the process. New information will be forwarded to the university community as it becomes available.

People walk past signage displayed inside Capen Hall.

Special wayfinding signage in Capen Hall is designed to help faculty, staff and students navigate during the One World Café construction period. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

General changes to be aware of now:

  • Capen Hall classrooms (Classrooms 240-265) can only be accessed via the stairs or elevators inside Talbert Hall. From the Flint Loop, turn left and walk straight. Enter Talbert Hall.
  • Administrative elevators on the first and second floors of Capen Hall are CLOSED for the duration of the construction of One World Café.
  • Elevators in Capen Hall are being renamed and redirected to provide clarity. “Library” elevators (directly next to 1 Capen) provide service to Capen Floors G, 1, 2, 3 and 4. “Administrative” elevators (around corner from 1 Capen) provide service to Floors G, 4 and 5.

Best routes in and around Capen Hall and Norton Hall

(Effective from Jan. 24 until further notice)

Capen Hall

  • The best way to enter Capen Hall is via the ground floor from Hamilton Loop.
  • The best way to access the Capen Hall second floor classrooms is to use the stairs or elevators in Talbert Hall.
  • The best way to access Capen Silverman Library is to take the Library elevators from the ground or first floor of Capen.

Norton Hall

  • The best way to enter Norton Hall is still from Capen ground floor, the bridge from O’Brien Hall or Founders Plaza.

Pham notes that changes in parking spaces for the most part have already been affected.

“Some spaces have already been taken offline,” she says. “Also, University Parking and Transportation has already done some reshuffling of handicapped parking spaces. That was done prior to the start of construction.”

Pham says no more parking changes for UB students, faculty and staff are planned. However, some spaces for visitors may be relocated during the summer.

For questions or concerns, contact University Facilities Customer Service:

Customer Service Office

120 John Beane Center

Mon-Fri: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 716-645-2025


After-hours service

Phone: 716-645-2025


UB Police: 716-645-2222