Published: Dec. 1, 2010

c4c food court

Opened in August, the Center for Community houses a 900-seat dining facility, above, with nine specialty food stations that serve about 5,500 meals a day. It’s the seventh largest building on campus.

It’s time to say goodbye to single-line dorm cafeterias replete with mystery meat. The Center for Community, a massive 323,000-square-foot building just east of Regent Hall and south of Hallett Hall, is open for business, as of August. It houses a 900-seat dining facility with nine specialty food stations — from kosher to Persian — that serves about 5,500 meals a day. Lucky Charms are available, but they’re next to the panini press and across from the sushi station.

On the third and fourth floors of the Center for Community are 12 student services offices, including Career Services and Multicultural Affairs, providing students with one-stop shopping for issues that concern them. The building is on track to receive LEED Gold Certification.

Criticism that the center is too upscale is countered by Kambiz Khalili, executive director of housing and dining services. He says dining halls are part of today’s competitive scramble for students, spurring universities across the country to offer the kinds of services available at the center. This year students are paying approximately $10,792 for room and board, and they expect a premium product, Khalili says.

The Center for Community is entirely financed through bonds that will be repaid from campus parking fees, housing and dining revenue and private fundraising. To donate, please go here.

Photo by Andrea Fabri