A transformation at the University of North Dakota brings new a layout, better hang-out space and a culinary support kitchen.
Before its recent remodel, the University of North Dakota’s Wilkerson Hall checked all the boxes of a college dining hall overdue for a major makeover. Late 60s style (and not in a retro-cool way)? Check. Equipment on its last legs? Check. Straight-line cafeteria setup? Check. Barely any natural light and lots of unappealing dark corners? Check and check.
A $20 million overhaul doesn’t happen overnight, and the process for Wilkerson was no exception. After receiving authorization from the state for $14 million, UND met with an architect, who came up with plans that were over budget. So, “rather than scale back the project, UND went back to the legislature,” says Orlynn Rosaasen, director of dining services and chair of the building committee.
Construction began in the summer of 2014, and prior to that, the dining team had participated in several key design decisions, from space planning, cooking platforms and production standpoints to paint colors, flooring materials and furniture.
Read on to see how Wilkerson Hall’s transformation to Wilkerson Commons checked off the design, equipment and functionality objectives in both front and back of the house.