U-San Diego Opens New Student Pavilion

The University of San Diego has opened its new 55,000-sq.ft. Student Life Pavilion student center, which not only includes various international dining stations as well as a full-service grocery store, but is designed to be the school’s first LEEP certified building (in fact, is seeking gold-level certification). The four-story Spanish Mediterranean style facility cost $30.4 million to build, with the money coming in part from an increase student fees passed by student referendum in 2005.

The Pavilion is designed to “set a new standard” for student dining and student life, says André Mallié, director of auxiliary services. “We’ve provided a distinctive gathering place where all students—undergraduate, graduate and law—will find a sense of place and community.”

The “green” features of the facility are extensive, including the first BioHitech system on a college campus, which reportedly breaks down food scraps and converts them into water. There is also natural ventilation with windows that open and an inner courtyard to promote air flow; the use of recyclable or recycled materials such as carpeting; a 40 percent reduction in water usage by low-flow water fixtures; and low-water herb and vegetable gardens on the rooftop. In addition, the dining operations will use compostable servingware, employ trayless dining and incorporate organic, Fair Trade and local foods and beverages into the menu.