Project Showcase — Special Edition 2015
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AUGUSTANA COLLEGE
Karen M. Alley

Center Of Student Life

Augustana College’s new student-center foodservices trade processed foods for fresh, healthy dining options.

A $20 million construction project has re-energized campus life at 2,500-student Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. The new Gerber Center for Student Life expands and renovates the building that housed the college’s Thomas Tredway Library, adding dining options, recreational facilities, meeting rooms, student resource centers and offices. The campus addition has enhanced the college’s amenities and is improving student recruitment, according to Steve Carlson, FCSI, President, Robert Rippe & Associates, Minneapolis, who, with Terry Pellegrino, FCSI, Principal at Rippe, were the foodservice facility design consultants on the project.

The LEED Silver-certified center, built into the side of a hill, connects residence halls on the upper campus to the academic buildings on the lower campus in what the administration envisions as an “avenue of collaboration.” Work on the project began in July 2011 and was completed in August 2013.

Working closely with Augustana’s Director of Dining Gary Griffith, the Rippe team took current dining operations that had been scattered among two campus dining centers, a c-store, a snack bar and café at various locations on campus and consolidated them into one facility that “not only gave students more variety, fresher food and extended hours, but also delivered a profit to the college,” Carlson says. And where the former dining outlets served mostly processed foods, the new facility delivers a wider variety of foods, all of them freshly prepared and with many healthy options.

On the center’s fifth floor, which is actually ground level at the top of the hill, a contemporary marché-style servery offers a variety of themed stations where students choose their own ingredients and interact with the chefs while their meals are prepared. Fresh market options include Wild Thymes serving made-to-order vegan and vegetarian entrées; the American Grill for to-order burgers, chicken, fries and other grill specialties; The Carvery for carved roasts and myriad comfort-food sides; a four-sided island station called Green Creations that includes a salad bar, an entrée-salad station, a deli with panini presses and a soup-and-bread counter; and an all-day Breakfast Nook, where students grab cereals and breakfast breads. The Desserts station, also part of the main marché area, is backed by a wall with three round windows. They allow students to see into the kitchen’s 475-sq.-ft. bakery operation. Another visual interest point is a cut-out in the floor along the wall of a mechanical room that permits customers to watch activities (study areas, conversation pits) on the fourth floor below.

In a separate servery area on the fifth floor, Carlson and Pellegrino created Global Fusion and the Bella Luna pizza/ pasta bar. Because these stations are remote from the main kitchen and the marché-style-station area, Carlson and Pellegrino designed them with their own support pantry that includes a walk-in refrigerator, prep area, food storage and sinks. These two concepts stay open even after the marché-style servery portion of the facility closes. The entire servery, including the marché area, Global Fusion and Bella Luna, is close to 7,400 sq. ft.

In addition to preparing food for the servery stations, the 5,700-sq.-ft. behind-the-scenes kitchen also produces catered foods for the center’s student-activity rooms, as well as for faculty functions.

The campus’ coffee shop/deli, The Brew by the Slough, which existed in the original library structure, also was renovated in a location on the fourth floor of the center. Thanks to the site’s location on a hill, it has access to an outdoor patio.

Consolidation played a big role in improving the financial health of dining operations at Augustana as well. “In the previous configuration, each place had to be staffed for the worst-case scenario [in terms of customer demand], but it was hard to predict where the students would go,” Carlson explains, which led to labor inefficiency. Eliminating the campus-wide locations and bringing everything into one place made it easier to predict traffic patterns and staff accordingly. Consolidation also helped the foodservice operations take advantage of the well-established traffic pattern from the residence halls through the Tredway Library to the academic buildings.

Variety, The Spice Of Life
At most of the stations in the new dining facility, students can watch their orders being prepared. “We created what we call a ‘dispersed marketplace’ design, which integrates a variety of stations with seating areas,” Carlson says. He and Pellegrino worked closely with Griffith to determine what types of food would be prepared in each area and how the concepts would change from day to day, or even throughout the day. The equipment was chosen carefully to allow hot and cold displays to be interchangeable in some areas and to ensure the necessary ingredients for each menu are close by for convenience as well as storage in the stations that aren’t right next to the kitchen. For example, Green Creations features undercounter cold and dry storage that is accessible from inside the island. The Carvery and Wild Thymes are equipped with pass-thru hot and cold cabinets that can be supplied from the kitchen side and accessed from the service side.

One of the equipment highlights of the design is the Town wok, used for display cooking at Global Fusion. “We decided to go with a wok range rather than a grill for this station to allow for greater flexibility,” Carlson says. The three-burner wok allows kitchen staff to create made-to-order entrées on its two smaller burners and high-volume items, such as fried rice and pot stickers, on a larger, third burner.

How well equipment could showcase the menu items also was important when choosing specific pieces for the new dining facility. “We wanted the end result to have a high-end, restaurant feel, and the aesthetics of the equipment is very important in carrying that through,” Carlson says. A Refcon Ice Rock counter inset that frosts allows for attractive merchandising of individually plated cold desserts at the dessert counter, and students can see the bakers loading a Gemini rack oven in the kitchen through the windows behind the counter.

Going Green
It’s very clear that sustainability is one of Augustana’s priorities when you walk into the Gerber Center’s dining area and see a hydroponics wall full of herbs; students help grow the plants, and the kitchen staff uses them in the food preparation. Easy access to all of the stations, including the beverage stations, from the seating areas allows for a trayless operation. Without trays, students avoid the habit of loading up on dishes, which tends to waste food. Trayless operation also reduces energy use by eliminating the need to wash trays. However, it’s the energy efficiency you don’t see that really makes the kitchen sustainable.

Multiple stations called for multiple exhaust hoods; however, because the designers specified a Halton M.A.R.V.E.L. demand-controlled kitchen ventilation system, each hood operates independently depending on what is being prepared at each station that day. In a traditional servery, all of the exhaust hoods would be cranking full-bore all day. DCKV ramps exhaust up or down depending on the amount of effluent being produced by the cooking action below. The system greatly helps reduce energy consumption.

The RDT parallel-rack refrigeration system not only cools the walk-ins throughout the facility, it also has a heat-reclamation system that captures exhaust heat from the compressors and uses it to preheat hot water coming into the facility. Additionally, the Hobart dishmachine has a heat-recovery system that preheats incoming water.

Results Prove Success
The students at Augustana College have embraced the new Gerber Center. Meal-plan participation continues to increase each semester as new students sign on and prior participants invest in larger meal plans. In its first year of operation, the foodservice area expansion/ renovation realized a 7% reduction in food costs, a 7.5% reduction in labor costs and a 13.8% increase in profits. The dining-services department was able to make good on its promise that the new facility would increase its contribution to the college’s bottom line by a minimum of $900,000 in the first year; in fact, it exceeded that amount.

But the importance of the new dining services extends beyond the current students. Meal plans and dining options weigh heavily when prospective students decide where to attend college, and the variety of fresh and healthy options and welcoming atmosphere at the new Gerber Center for Student Life help show off all this college has to offer.

Equipment List

Receiving Area
• Frontline Int’l. waste-oil tank
• Everpure central water filter

Kitchen
• Kolpak/Manitowoc walk-in refrig./freezer complex, cook’s refrig., salad and dessert refrig.
• RDT refrigeration rack systems
• Russell refrig. and freezer system coils
• Metro/Emerson shelving
• New Age Industrial dunnage rack, mobile rack
• Frymaster/Manitowoc fryers
• Rational combi ovens
• Alto-Shaam roasting ovens
• Randell/Unified Brands undercounter freezer
• Groen/Unified Brands steamer, 20-qt. kettle
• Cleveland/Manitowoc tilting fry pan, kettle
• Southbend/Middleby range w/oven
• Bakers Pride/Standex charbroiler
• Keating grill
• Hobart/ITW FEG mixers, slicer, food cutter
• Salvajor disposer
• Component Hardware spray rinse
• Sterilox food sterilizer
• Robot Coupe food processor, power mixer
• Hoshizaki ice maker, ice bin

Bakery
• New Age Industrial mobile bakery cabinet
• Baxter/ITW FEG double-wide proof box
• Piper Products mobile equipment stand, stacked cup dispenser
• Amana microwave oven
• Rhodes cookie dropper
• Gemini rack oven

Warewashing
• Hobart/ITW FEG flight-type dishmachine
• Aerowerks soiled dish-table with tray return conveyor
• InSinkErator mini Waste Xpress system
• Stellkor pot/pan sink with agitator
• Component Hardware spray rinse
• Ecolab hose station
• Metro/Emerson shelving

American Grill
• Keating grill
• Randell/Unified Brands refrig. base
• BSI heated display shelf
• Bakers Pride/Standex charbroiler
• Prince Castle/Marmon Group bun toaster
• Traulsen/ITW FEG reach-in refrig.
• Hatco heat lamp
• Pitco/Middleby fryers
• Krowne hand sink
• Low Temp hot/cold wells

Carvery
• Wells/Middleby hot well
• BSI heated display shelf
• Spring carving station heat lamp
• Traulsen/ITW FEG roll-thru refrig., pass-thru warming cabinet
• Low Temp hot/cold wells

Wild Thymes
• Southbend/Middleby 4-burner range
• Low Temp Industries hot/cold wells, cold wells
• Traulsen/ITW FEG roll-thru refrig., pass-thru warming cabinet

Dessert Counter
• RefCon frost top

Green Creations
• Wells/Middleby hot well
• Electrolux panini presses
• Russell soup wells
• Metro/Emerson undercounter warmer
• Traulsen/ITW FEG roll-thru refrig.
• Low Temp cold wells
• Steril Sil soup-spoon holder

Cereal and Bread Counter
• Silver King/Marmon Group milk dispenser
• Toastmaster/Middleby 4-slot toaster
• Hubert bread display, flatware dispenser
• Randell/Unified Brands pass-thru countertop refrig.
• Vollrath syrup dispenser
• Delfield/Manitowoc cold well

Beverage Counter
• Cal-Mil water dispenser
• T&S water fill station and glass filler
• BUNN frozen drink machine
• Kolpak/Manitowoc walk-in refrig.
• Metro/Emerson refrig./freezer shelving, dry-storage shelving
• New Age Industrial mobile rack
• Manitowoc ice maker/bin
• Krowne hand sink
• Hobart/ITW FEG undercounter dishmachine
• Advance Tabco dish table w/sink, spray rinse

Global Fusion
• Town woks, rice cookers
• Wells/Middleby hot well
• Traulsen/ITW FEG reach-in freezer
• Frymaster/Manitowoc fryers
• Randell/Unified Brands refrig. prep table
• Low Temp cold wells

Bella Luna
• Vollrath induction range
• Wells/Middleby soup wells
• Metro/Emerson undercounter warmer, shelving
• Italgi USA pasta maker
• Randell/Unified Brands undercounter refrig., refrig. prep table
• Traulsen/ITW FEG roll-thru refrig.
• Wood Stone pizza oven, exhaust hood
• DoughPro/Proluxe dough press
• Manitowoc ice maker
• Krowne hand sink
• Hobart/ITW FEG undercounter dishmachine
• Advance Tabco dishtable/sink, spray rinse
• True display refrig.

Brew Counter
• BUNN airpot brewer
• Vollrath soup warmer
• Advance Tabco hand sink
• True undercounter refrig.
• Nuova Simonelli espresso grinder, espresso machine
• Vitamix blender
• Delfield/Manitowoc ice bin
• Structural Concepts refrig. display case
• Toastmaster/Middleby toaster
• Cecilware dipper well/faucet

Throughout
• Halton exhaust hoods w/demand-controlled kitchen ventilation
• BSI customized counters, food shields

At A Glance
-Facility: Gerber Center for Student Life, Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.
-Project: College Dining Services
-Design Consultants: Steven P. Carlson, FCSI, LEED AP, President; Terry L. Pellegrino, FCSI, Principal; Jill Anderson, Senior Project Manager; Trish Jass, Senior Equipment Specialist; Shelby Wurscher, Assoc. FCSI, Project Coordinator; Robert Rippe & Associates, Minneapolis
-Director of Dining: Gary Griffith
-Total Budget: $20 million
-Foodservice Equipment Budget: $2.5 million
-Scope of Work: Concept Development, Master Planning, Space Allocation, Preliminary Design, Detailed Design, Specification Writing, Site Inspections, Construction Management, Pre-Opening Inspections.
-Architects: John Whitlock, AIA, LEED AP, Principal; Anita Lanning, AIA, LEED AP, Licensed Architect; BLDD Architects, Bloomington, Ill.
-Engineers: Lee VanOpdorp, Principal; Brent Husser, Senior Engineer; KJWW, Naperville, Ill.
-Interior Designer: Julie Quested, Manager, Paragon Commercial Interiors, Davenport, Iowa
-Fabricator: Danny Terneus, Project Manager, Florida Stainless Fabricators, Oviedo, Fla.
-Foodservice Equipment Contractor: Mike Heim, Regional V.P., Barin Industries, Downers Grove, Ill.
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