Pennsylvania State University

PKC recently partnered with Mesher Shing McNutt Architects (Seattle) to renovate the Pollock Dining Commons on Penn State’s University Park campus. The 30,000 square foot venue is located in the heart of campus near one of the large residential area. It offers all-you-care to eat service and had not been renovated since 1991.

As part of the renovation, the second-floor venue was completed gutted and transformed into a contemporary, state-of-the-art facility with themed, restaurant-style platform stations. One of the goals of this project was to significantly increase the amount of display cooking and to create more made-to-order menu selections. Another goal was add more variety and intimacy to the seating areas, creating interesting and inviting seating arrangements. There were also some challenges with this project, including three existing entrances that divided the venue into four segments, essentially creating separate servery/dining areas in one venue. As part of the renovation, the project team was able to visually connect these areas but still create unique seating/dining areas. Platform serving stations include the Nittany Lion training table, international foods, salad bar, Italian specialties, baked goods and more. In terms of equipment, one of the challenges in speccing the equipment was that many of the pieces had to meet certain height restrictions due to the existing space including many columns and mechanical chases.

The newly renovated facility includes 890 seats.