TROY – Troy University officials formally put Trojan Dining into operation today at lunch following a dedication ceremony.
The $11.7 million facility seats 1,070 patrons and boasts five all-you-can-eat food service stations, two retail restaurants and incorporates state-of-the-art electronics and food services capabilities.
"Troy University is known for its 'culture of caring' and that's more than just a marketing slogan – it's our way of life at TROY," said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Chancellor. "Caring for students includes providing the best facilities our budget will allow. Trojan Dining is a tangible symbol of the level of quality we strive for every day."
The two-story building provides 79,971 square feet of dining, food preparation and mechanical space and connects to the existing Hawkins-Adams-Long Hall of Honor. Included in its design is a second-story balcony area, a faculty-and-staff dining room, a 77-person capacity civic room, a private dining room, and a courtyard that incorporates a fountain.
"We must design and build buildings that address contemporary diversity for a homogeneous student population," said Dr. Jim Bookout, Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Affairs who chaired the design committee. "We believe we have accomplished that because this building will help shape our campus climate, and the climate in turn will shape the sociocultural environment of the campus."
The building also includes several innovations not likely found in other campus eating venues. Marble countertops on four serpentine eating counters frame a two-story, open-area dining room framed by flags of nations represented in the student body. Flags of the Armed Services are also prominent features, as is a POW flag. Murals of campus life provide added depth to the building.
"Imagine the pride our students will have when they walk into the building and see their country's flag -- we are acknowledging that they are a part of TROY," Dr. Bookout said.
Other innovations come in the building's audio-visual system. Some 35 50-inch, high-definition televisions are linked together in 12 zones throughout the building. The system is capable of simultaneously broadcasting eight separate programs to each zone. Also included in the technology package is wireless Internet access.
The architectural firm of Montgomery's Seay, Seay and Litchfield was selected in January 2009 for the project and construction bids were opened in April 2010. General contractor Whaley Construction Co., Inc., of Troy, began construction in mid-June 2010.
While the primary focus for Trojan Dining is to provide expanded options for students, Dr. Bookout said the facility is open to the public from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Moe's Southwestern Grill and Boar's Head Deli venues are open from 11 a.m. until midnight.