KSU's new "green" dining hall serves up culinary delights

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KSU’s new “green” dining hall serves up culinary delights

State-of-the-art facility transforms campus into residential university

KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 6, 2009) — Homemade chicken corn chowder, roasted, chili-orange beef, fresh-baked pumpkin macadamia nut muffins, and vegan and gluten-free options are just a few of the selections available to students at The Commons — Student Culinary Center, Kennesaw State University’s new state-of-the art dining hall. 

The two-story, 53,466-square foot facility features student-designed artwork, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an on-site herb and vegetable garden filled with fresh basil, rosemary, and bell peppers. Offering nine different food venues including made-to-order specialty sandwiches, build-your-own salads, and international and regional cuisines that offer student recommended recipes, The Commons sets a new standard for campus dining. 

Marking this milestone in university history, Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp, along with Susan Herbst, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia and Norman Radow, chairman of the KSU Foundation, addressed guests at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony held this morning. 

“The opening of the dining hall continues KSU’s transformation to a full-service, residential campus, and enhances the vibrant living-and-learning community that has become a hallmark of our university,” Papp said. “This facility is more than just a gathering place for our students; it is a top-tier model example of how to marry high-quality food offerings with sustainability.”

The $21 million project, funded entirely by student meal plans, will service KSU’s more than 22,000 students -- 14,000 of whom are full-time, including over 3,000 who live on campus.

Offering a unique dining experience among Georgia universities and setting a new standard for campus dining nationally, The Commons boasts extensive environmentally friendly features -- including the use of LED lighting, composting of food waste, use of “trayless” service to reduce water usage and food waste, use of compostable paper goods and the elimination of all Styrofoam products. In addition, the dining hall’s kitchen is equipped with Energy Star appliances and each food venue is independent of one another and can be turned off to reduce energy consumption.

“We have created menus that embrace sustainability,” said Gary Coltek, chef and assistant director of KSU Culinary Services. “We will utilize as much locally grown produce as possible, as well as local beef from Georgia cattlemen. We are definitely setting a new standard when it comes to college food service.” 

KSU’s Culinary Services also is in the process of seeking LEED Certification for the new facility, an internationally recognized green building certificate – a rarity among collegiate food service facilities.

The nine themed food stations are

·   The Campus Green offers a changing array of the freshest fruits, vegetables, and salad options including a variety of locally-grown produce.

·   Piatti provides favorite regional Italian dishes, fresh-made pizzas and pastas, stromboli and calzones.

·    Dan’s Deli, inspired by the world-famous Carnegie Deli in New York City and named for KSU’s president, gives students a choice of made-to-order hot and cold sandwiches, and seasonal soups, chilis and chowders.

·    Apron Strings brings the comfort of home cooking to campus. Daily recipes include hot breakfast items, roasted and fried chicken, meatloaf and mac ‘n cheese.

·     Hwy. 41 Grille offers shades of “Happy Days” and serves up a choice of burgers, fries, onion rings and milkshakes.

·     Wok Your Way specializes in Asian wok cuisine with a choice of proteins, vegetables, and sauces.

·     Globetrotter provides international and regional U.S. cuisines including items such as sushi, gyros, falafels and student recipes from more than 150 countries.

·    The Stone Mill Bakery features an exceptional array of artisan breads, premium pastries, pies, cakes and cookies.

·    The Grind Coffee Co. offers KSU’s version of a European coffee bar.

“When guests come into the building, the first thing they see is ‘The Grind Coffee Co.’ offering a wide seasonal variety of hot and cold drinks, from something as simple as a cup of coffee or hot apple cider to a triple-vanilla nonfat soy latte,” Coltek said.

The dining hall is open seven days a week, with initial operating hours of 7:30 a.m. to

8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,000 from 142 countries.