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

Menu Development
sam kass peter romeo

We’ve heard it time and again—millennials are extremely conscious about what they eat. They want to know what is in their food, where it is from, how it was made and more. And, as we’re learning, Gen Zers are even more aware and information-demanding about the food they eat than their older counterparts.

Hitting those higher-quality food standards is no easy feat. But it’s becoming a must, said chef Sam Kass—known for being the White House chef for the Obamas, a senior White House policy advisor on nutrition policy while he cooked, and currently the senior food analyst for NBC News...

Sponsored Content
chicken veggies recipes

From Tyson Food Service.

With operators becoming increasingly strapped for time and labor, it’s a strain to prepare every aspect of a menu item back-of-house or keep the menu populated with a variety of options. While it doesn’t mean they have to cut corners when developing new items, operators can use more versatile items that are simple enough to apply across the menu to save on labor and cost as well as be more efficient.

With versatile proteins, operators can increase menu opportunities without kitchen complexity, and drive new customer traffic or increase the number...

Industry News & Opinion

An audit into Kennesaw State University’s dining services revealed the university accrued roughly $2 million from off-campus students paying for meal plans as part of their semester fees, according to a report by Fox 5 Atlanta .

Meal plans at the Kennesaw, Ga., university are automatically assessed to students whether they live on campus or not. The university does not refund unused meals, draining the pockets of commuter students each semester.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we pay all this tuition and then we’re here paying another big fee,” commuter student Emmanuel...

Industry News & Opinion

As part of a 10-year contract to run Eastern Michigan University’s foodservice, Chartwells will invest $5 million in the Ypsilanti, Mich., university, as well as provide it with $18 million in capital improvements, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press .

The university’s board of regents approved the contract on Tuesday, citing the new revenue as an opportunity to expand and improve campus foodservice. EMU’s website indicates the partnership will allow for more student input as well as the introduction of food trucks and improved technology.

“The primary reason...

FSD Resources