Food for Thought
By Marcus E. Howard
KENNESAW - With nine themed food stations and a pending…
(Aug 7, 2009) — By Marcus E. Howard
Link To Articlehttp://www.mdjonline.com/content/index/showcontentitem/area/1/section/21/item/137825.html
KENNESAW - With nine themed food stations and a pending "green" building certificate,
officials say the Commons Student Culinary Center, which opened Thursday morning
on the campus of Kennesaw State University, sets a new standard for campus dining.
The two-story, 53,466-square-foot facility is the growing university's first dining
hall. It seats 1,200 people. It cost $21 million to build and is funded entirely
by student meal plans, officials said.
Food offerings include made-to-order specialty sandwiches, build-your-own salads,
locally grown produce and international cuisine. There is an onsite herb and vegetable
garden, and local farmers will supply many of the hall's produce and meats. The facility
was designed to be "green." It has a composting program to recycle food waste, low-energy
lighting, trayless service to reduce water usage and Energy Star kitchen equipment.
Officials said Styrofoam products will not be used. LEED certification is pending.
"This is definitely not your grandparents' dining hall," KSU President Dr. Dan Papp
said. "This is a state-of-the-art facility that will become the national model."
Papp noted at Thursday's ribbon cutting ceremony that officials expect up to 22,500
students at the university in the fall - 14,000 will be full-time and more than 3,200
will live on campus. KSU is the state's third largest university.
"The need for a student dining facility was extremely high," Papp said. "Time was
well past due to construct, build and open this dining hall."
The facility, which took a year to build, is located near the future health science
building that is under construction.
Norman Radow, chairman of the KSU Foundation, said, "Seven years ago, this was a
commuter college. Nobody lived, ate or stayed here. It was dark at night. Within
those seven years, we have transformed this university together into something remarkable."
A sample of the food from the menu was provided at the ribbon cutting. It included
cilantro citrus chicken, roast turkey and rice soup, cheeseburgers, monster veggie
baguette sandwiches, breadsticks, pastries and coffee.
The hall is open to anyone, including the public, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. during
the week, and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend. It will officially open 10:30
There are five different meal plans for students. Sixteen meals cost $120 per semester
(or $7.50 per meal), 48 student meals cost $355 per semester ($7.40 per meal) and
128 meals cost $928 per semester ($7.25 per meal). A five-day unlimited plan is $1,540
and seven-day unlimited plan is $1,640 per semester. Those not on a plan will pay
The dining hall will employ more than 150 workers, including chef Gary Coltek, who
helped design the 9,468-square-foot kitchen.
School begins Aug. 15.
ALSO HEAR AN INTERVIEW WITH KSU's GARY COLTEK ON THE NEW DINING HALL ON WABE-FM
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.