Cafeteria Kitchen Renovation Project Underway

Cafeteria Kitchen Renovation Project Underway

Sara Plummer

During the second half of the summer, OSU Institute of Technology’s Dining Services are being temporarily housed in the School of Culinary Arts while the first phase of the cafeteria kitchen renovation project is underway in the Student Union.

Lunch and dinner meals are being served to students, faculty and staff in the Tech Room and State Room and dining services staff are utilizing kitchen space and computer lab space in the School of Culinary Arts.

James Byrd, Student Union and auxiliary services director, said the first phase of the project is replacing all the floor drains in the kitchen and dish room areas, which means cutting away and then re-pouring a portion of the building’s concrete slab.

The drains in this area have been in use since 1989, and most of them were not draining properly and had begun to rot out, Byrd said. It is essential that the floor drains in the kitchen work properly for health and safety purposes.

Once the drain work is complete, the kitchen area and dish room floors will be retiled. The dining services office and the dish room will also get new wall boards and tin ceiling tile and grid, Byrd said.

In the meantime, meal service is being offered out of the Tech and State Rooms.

Rene Jungo and the School of Culinary Arts have been extremely gracious and helpful in working with Hayley Holmes and the dining services staff to make this a positive experience for everyone involved, especially our students, he said.

Hayley Holmes, director of dining services, said when the cafeteria renovation project was going on in 2014, she and her staff were still able to use the kitchen in the Student Union, it was just the service line and seating areas that were affected.

“Here it’s moving into someone else’s space, but they’ve been very accommodating,” Holmes said.

The temporary accommodations do mean some services are limited.

“We can’t do hot sandwiches; we don’t have a grill,” she said. “We offer cold sandwiches, and we make a menu each day on the hot line. I think the students have been understanding.”

The total cost of phase one of the kitchen renovation is between $300,000 to $350,000 and expected to be completed by the end of August, Byrd said.

“This is phase one of the kitchen project. Within the next two years we will begin phase two that will include replacing vent hoods with state-of-the-art self-cleaning vent hoods with their own fire suppression systems built in,” he said. “In addition, we will replace the wall board and ceiling tile and grid in the kitchen area.”