Facility Focus (Kitchens and Food Service Facilities)

Gonzaga University: John J. Hemmingson Center

Gonzaga University: John J. Hemmingson Center

TOP PHOTOS © OPSIS ARCHITECTS, BOTTOM PHOTOS © STEVE WHITTAKER

Gonzaga University’s vision for its new Hemmingson Student Center was to break away from the traditional campus layout and combine the residential dining experience with a student union in order to offer a wider variety of food options, socializing opportunities and gathering areas. This vision has come to fruition, and the Hemmingson Center has been a hub for student, faculty, alumni and guests to come together socially and academically.

The 8,438-square-foot kitchen supports all food services located in the building, including residential and retail dining, and catering for the entire Spokane, WA-based campus. With the kitchen located on the foundation level — the first level to be built — Webb Foodservice Design was diligent in involving the food service contractor early in the process to establish the menu and the required equipment.

Residential dining is located on two levels, connected by an open staircase. Students may select food from one of six different stations located throughout the two levels. Options include a deli with sandwiches and soups, international and allergen-free foods, Mediterranean, comfort foods, vegetarian and a Mongolian grill. The vegetarian station features produce from the rooftop hydroponic greenhouse.

While the building layout lends itself to a multistory dining center, one of the challenges is drawing guests to the upper level. This was addressed early in the design process by placing the more popular food stations, such as Mediterranean with pizza and pasta, on the second floor.

National brands Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels offer popular grab-and-go options, and the Marketplace convenience store offers fresh foods to go as well as the standard prepackaged drinks and snacks.

The Bulldog, designed around Gonzaga’s brand, is a full-service restaurant featuring sit-down or take-out service. Menu highlights include appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches, mac & cheese, milkshakes, and beer and wine. The dining environment here, and throughout the Center, both reflects and entices Gonzaga’s school spirit.

This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of College Planning & Management.

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