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FM 2010 Best Concept Awards Best Renovation: University of Oklahoma's Couch Restaurants

FM 2010 Best Concept Awards Best Renovation: University of Oklahoma's Couch Restaurants

PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:

Arthur Drain
General Manager, OU Housing and Food Services

David Annis
Director, OU Housing and Food Services

Frank Henry
Director of Board Operations, OU Housing and Food Services

Chuck Weaver
Director of Food Services- OU Housing and Food Services

Matthew Roberts
Projects Manager OU Housing and Food Services

Randall Foster & Mike Kelly
Kaighn & Associates (project architect)

Gary Petry
Ricca Newmark (foodservice consultant)

Brent Everett
OU Architectural and Engineering Services (architect/project manager)

Randy Le Blanc
Randy England

Boldt General Contractors

WINNER: UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

ENTRY: COUCH RESTAURANTS

THE BIG IDEA: Couch is an excellent example of a renovation that turns an out-of-date college dining hall into one that meets modern student expectations. The $11 million project turned a venue students had described as “like a giant airport” into a multi-neighborhood marketplace brimming with modern food stations, diverse seating options, vibrant design touches and high-tech amenities (like a dozen LCD TVs for individual diners, another 10 free-hanging panel TVs and even a monstrous 261-inch custom projection screen).

The dining stations run the gamut from vegan/vegetarian to a smokehouse concept featuring on-site smoked ribs, brisket and rotisserie chicken along with burgers and chicken sandwiches.

Energy efficient appliances, energy-saving lighting, balanced ventilation and even multi-material ergonomic flooring are just some of the socially responsible design touches.

The result is a 44 percent bump in cash sales in the early going, as well as an increase in meal plan usage (see June 2010 FM).

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