Key spots at Concordia received a facelift — or a total remodel — over the summer, improving the sights and experiences for those who work and study on campus.
The biggest change came in the cafeteria. The Rodney Grimm Student Union has undergone a three-year remodel. In financial partnership with longtime food service provider Bon Apetit, CUI replaced the kitchen last Christmas and the serving and seating areas over the summer.
“It looks one hundred percent different now — clean, fresh and modern,” says Tim Odle, vice president of athletics and facility services.
The difference isn’t just in appearance but in the philosophy of food-serving as well. The reconfigured serving area is now a forward-facing model where select food is prepared on the spot, rather than being prepared in the back and set over chafing dishes.
“It’s like Chipotle now,” says Odle. “There’s no scoop-and-go. Instead, you point to what you want and it’s prepared in front of you. There is much more activity happening in front of you as you go through the lines. It’s been a shifting of our manpower into a forward-facing mentality rather than preparation and delivery.”
Also installed: a fire-burning pizza oven where fresh pizzas are made all day long. The last upgrade to the cafeteria was nearly twenty years ago.
“Students are very happy with it,” Odle says. “We offer different foods and different opportunities.”
The lower quad dorm was also remodeled, receiving new bathrooms, showers, kitchenettes, fixtures, laminate wood floors and a fresh coat of paint in each of its 56 units. And the first floor of the library was remodeled to create an open lounge area, a computer resource area, new paint and upgraded lights for a more pleasant learning experience. “These changes are all about quality of life for our students, faculty and staff,” Odle says. “People come back and are like, ‘Wow.’ You want people on campus to feel they are loved and being taken care of. As we work on continually upgrading our campus, this is a way of reflecting that.”