In 2015, the University of Colorado broke ground on a new Village Dining and Community Center in its Williams Village community, replacing the Darley Commons facility. “The Darley building was built in 1969 and was in dire need of a face-lift and have its capabilities updated,” says Paul Houle, director of campus dining services. “It had one staircase that was really tight, and the kitchen was located two floors away from the servery.”
After 18 months of construction and a $48.9 million budget, the new facility opened this January. Its five food stations serve breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and brunch and dinner on the weekends to approximately 3,000 students a day. Much more than just a dining hall, the new space includes a display kitchen wired with a mic and camera to do cooking demos and a teaching kitchen with induction cookers to teach students how to cook. There are also outdoor fire pits, stationary-bike-powered blenders and an expansive greenhouse.
Photos by Jesse Petersen