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Pollock Dining Commons Renovation at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.

Design Capsule

  • Ownership: Penn State is one of four state-related universities in the country, meaning it is not owned and operated by the state government. Rather it was incorporated in 1855 as a private entity, but the school's board of trustees included representatives of state government, including the governor. In 1863 the state legislature named Penn State the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's sole land-grant institution, a designation that gave the university a broad mission of teaching, research and public service. The legislature only occasionally granted funds to Penn State during the early years but since 1887 has made appropriations on a regular basis.
  • Enrollment: 44,000 graduate and undergraduate students (at the University Park campus)
  • Total Annual Foodservice Purchases: $38 million
  • Total Annual Revenue: $111 million
  • Students on Board Plans: 14,258
  • Residence Hall Population: 13,841
  • Pollock Commons Renovation Opened: August 19, 2011
  • Size: 35,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet in the back of house
  • Seats: 890 throughout the facility
  • Average Check: $4.35, though this is an all-you-care-to-eat (AYCTE) operation
  • Sales: $8.14 million between August and March
  • Daily Customers: 3,000. Breakfast, 500; lunch, 900–1,000; dinner, 1,500–1,700
  • Hours: Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; dinner, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Closed between meal periods.
  • Stations: Nittany Lion Training Table; Gusto! (Italian, open for lunch during the week, dinner every day); Plate (global cuisine, open for all meals); Leaf (salads, open lunch and dinner); Swirl (bakery); Envy (desserts, salads, and fresh fruit); and beverage stations. Foodservice also operates a convenience store.
  • Staff at Pollock Commons: 49 FTEs; 226 PT; also three assistant managers and two staff assistants
  • Total Project Cost: $20 million (approximately 35 percent of this was for nonrenovation work, including a sprinkler system for the entire building and upgrades to the infrastructure)
  • Equipment Investment: $700,000
  • Website: