Our team has worked with the University of Richmond on several projects over the past few years. Most recently, our company was the lead foodservice design consultant for the renovation of Heilman Dining Hall. Its original scatter system no longer met the needs of today’s sophisticated customers and UR Dining Services needed more production and storage space for increasing catering demands. The facility was also showing wear and tear from a physical plan standpoint. The University’s overall goal was to provide its students, faculty and staff with a sophisticated dining experience with an emphasis on fresh food preparation, additional points of service and a wider variety of menu choices.
One major challenge with this $9.9 million project was to keep the dining venue operational during the renovation. To do so, our design staff created a detailed phasing plan that efficiently managed to take sections of the kitchen and servery operational while new sections of both areas were completed. This was further challenged by the very aggressive timetable established by the University; five months from demolition to reconstruction of the existing kitchen, servery and dish room.
The gorgeous new dining venue officially reopened in August 2006 and features an expansive 9,400 sq. ft. marketplace servery with the following offerings: a large soup/bread/salad bar, brick-oven baked pizza and tossed-to-order pasta, grilled sandwiches, vegan and vegetarian options at a dedicated station, international foods prepared on a Mongolian grill, traditional entrees and made-to-order deli sandwiches. One popular station is Dolce Vita, a stand-alone island dessert station that offers baked goods baked at the station along with hand-dipped ice cream and hot and cold desserts.
This project included several points of interest including the skylights to bring in as much natural light as possible, service stations designed to be multi-functional with both cook-to-order and traditional service areas to meet changing needs and a seating area with three-story cathedral ceilings and contemporary chandeliers that compliment the campus’s traditional gothic architecture. The seating area overlooks the campus’s picturesque Westhampton Lake. In addition, the back-of-the-house features a power efficient exhaust system and energy-efficient equipment along with two in-house pulpers to help reduce landfill contributions.
“The University of Richmond selected Porter Khouw Consulting when a complete renovation of its 44,000 square foot Heilman Dining Center was scheduled for 2005. The challenge was a very tight timeline and the need to provide on-going service during this major renovation of our only centralized facility. Skilled collaboration, responsive service and flexibility were required to meet our goals and Porter Khouw delivered professionally and on-time. Their team listened to our needs, impressed our architectural design firm, construction company and foodservice equipment provider and delivered a creative and timeless design that has more than met our expectations. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone undertaking a major project. In fact, we have utilized their services for two additional projects since the completion of the Heilman Center with equally great results.”