Alaska college opens $28 million dining hall

The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ dining center was built with private-public funding and will revert back to university ownership after it’s paid back from revenues generated at the hall.

FAIRBANKS, Ala.—The University of Alaska Fairbanks unveiled a new dining facility in the Wood Center on Friday, touting the $28 million project as an innovative template for campus construction in the future.

As piano music tinkled in the background, a crowd of administrators, staff and students roamed through the expansive new facility, which is decorated in modern tones of black, white and pale wood. The 46,000-square-foot addition to the Wood Center will host two new dining areas, dubbed “Arctic Java” and “Dine 49.”

“This’ll be a place to be and to be seen,” said Wood Center Director Lydia Anderson. “It’ll be a hub for campus life.”

The unorthodox approach to the project also could change UAF’s approach to campus building projects. It emerged from a public-private partnership, with the nonprofit National Development Council financing the Wood Center expansion.

The Wood Center expansion was completed with no state funding. Instead, revenues from dining services will gradually repay the debt, with the facility reverting back to UAF ownership when it’s paid off.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Mrs. T’s pierogies

From Mrs. T’s Foodservice.

Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.

This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.

Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years,...

Sponsored Content
local produce

From WinCup.

Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

Students are looking for foodservice operations with comprehensive sustainability programs, and...

Industry News & Opinion

Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

Open throughout the day, the cart sells 12-ounce cups of coffee for $2 each. Students were able to taste-test some of the offerings and were also involved in choosing the cart’s name.

The drinks are made with low-fat milk and unsweetened flavor syrups, and soy milk is on hand for those with allergies. To encourage more breakfast participation, the school gives students 50 percent off coffee when they also buy a breakfast item. Additionally, the cart is stationed next...

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

FSD Resources