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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo opens major dining complex despite coronavirus

The new LEED Gold Vista Grande Dining Complex at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo has seven dining outlets plus a retail market.

The new Vista Grande Dining Complex at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo is now open to serve students despite the school being in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Following guidance from local health officials, the facility—a project of the non-profit Cal Poly Corp., the university auxiliary operates campus dining at the school—is flourishing with new procedures and protocols in place to create a safer dining experience.

The complex’s seven food stations offer hundreds of options, with each station also featuring exhibition-style kitchens that, once the pandemic ends, will invite interaction between culinary staff and customers while their meal is prepared.

As a dining facility on a residential campus that in a typical academic year houses nearly 8,000 students, Vista Grande was designed to be flexible to the changing tastes of customers, with each station featuring a rotating menu that changes monthly and seasonal, contemporary cuisine reflecting both the latest culinary trends and campus input. 

“Opening the new Vista Grande Dining Complex is the result of years of work, research and collaboration by the campus community,” says Cal Poly Corp. CEO Cody VanDorn. “The complex brings a leading dining experience to campus and launches the university’s renewed focus on the student experience with an adaptable space to dine, socialize and study.”

The complex features architectural concepts and designs and will help Cal Poly become a net zero campus by 2050. For example, to help gain LEED certification, Vista Grande taps into the existing campus solar farm system, saving 35% in energy cost as well as on-site solar panels that provide more than a quarter of the building’s demand for electricity. Most of the regularly occupied spaces have access to natural daylight and views through low-e window units while the main staircase prominently features a 9’x14’ living wall.

Here’s a photo tour of the new dining complex.

TAGS: Design
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