Ohio State University - Kennedy Commons

Columbus, Ohio


September 2011


Dining Facility

Kennedy Commons houses the largest all-you-care-to-eat residence dining facility on this campus of over 40,000 undergraduate students. This project includes the complete renovation of the existing building, portions of which date back to 1940. The objective of the project was to provide both all-you-care-to-eat and retail food venues for students in this area of campus. With a total forecasted population of over 5,300 students in the adjacent residence halls, it was anticipated the daily volume of foodservice would be in excess of 3,000 meals a day.

The multi-building nature of the foodservice facility allowed for the creation of two completely separate venues connected to one common kitchen preparation and storage area. One portion, with direct outside access, is a retail coffee shop with bakery and deli components. This space provides students with a dining experience much like the delis they visit off campus and allows 24 hour service. A larger, all-you-care-to-eat area with entry checkers offers the ability to change menus easily depending upon student preferences. Primary stations includes a grill area, a special diet and vegetarian station, a chefs’ stage with interchangeable cooking equipment, a home cooking station and a large salad bar including fresh entrée salads.

Reconfiguring the entire space allowed for improved work flow, larger storage areas, a more open production space and the ability to move the warewashing function to the main level. This centrally located warewashing area allows easy access from the kitchen and both foodservice venues. An upper level balcony has been isolated as a dining room to accommodate special dinners and living/learning community functions. One of the main level dining rooms has been designed to allow for separate special events.

The retail dining area can accommodate approximately 150 seats. The all-you-care-to-eat spaces accommodate an additional 350 seats. The space was ready for service by the beginning of the 2011 school year.

We were responsible for the programming, schematic design and equipment selection, cost estimating and specifications portion of this project.