Thomas Commons at Cornell College
Back in 2014, Cornell College was faced with the daunting task of remodeling the foodservice facilities at their central student union, Thomas Commons. With a growing student population, a very outdated kitchen system, and the hiring of Bon Appetit to run their dining services, they were deeply in need of a remodel project. All of their dining areas were in need of better flow, as well as updated interiors, counters, and kitchen equipment.
Boelter was called upon to design new state-of-the-art dining facilities for the union. In conjunction with a local architect, we took on three different components, including remodeling the lower level bakery, the mid-level Rathskeller, and the upper-level main student café. A further obstacle we discovered while working on the project was the challenge of dealing with a unique university schedule. Students at Cornell College are on a one class schedule for 18 days and then move on to another class schedule for the next 18 days, etc. Because the classes are regulated and focused, so is the lunch period, giving all students a very short window to grab their food. As a result, the layout and menus were designed to get students through the cafeteria lines as quickly as possibly. Overall, the project’s contract amount came in at $1.3M.