A new contemporary and inviting dining venue can have a major positive impact on a college campus as the College of Saint Benedict learned with the opening of the new $12 million Gorecki Dining & Conference Center which debuted in Fall 2007. Our Design Studio was the lead foodservice designer and partnered with STV Architects on this project.
The dining hall was the result of recommendations that came out of a campus wide dining services master plan completed by our firm. We recommended that CSB build this new facility near one of the campus’s major bus stops and adjacent to the library. Market research showed that this was the most convenient location for students from both campuses (CSB students and students from nearby Saint John’s University share class schedules and campus services) and to the academic core of the CSB campus. We also recommended changes to the dining program including new meal plans and extended hours of operation in order to provide a dining program more in step with students’ lifestyles.
The Gorecki Center features seven food stations and a variety of seating options including tables and booths. Outside the main dining venue is retail coffee bar that offers made-to-order coffee and tea beverages along with baked goods, bottled beverages and more. Smart technology including wireless Internet is available throughout the building. The second floor of the complex includes a banquet hall that seats 500 people.
This venue continues to be the centerpiece of campus and in many ways has become the campus center by default. The central campus location, connection to the library, proximity to residence halls and apartments, bus stop location and the welcoming feeling of the building makes it a natural place to socialize and hang out. Participation remains high with students often inviting their parents to dine with them. Many college employees also bring their families to dine in the evening and on weekends. Many local community members are also choosing to eat on campus.
This venue was featured in the April 2008 issue of Food Management magazine.