Palos Community Hospital

The initial scope for this foodservice project was to replace a 30-year old cafeteria and transform it into an updated retail serving venue. While the retail design was underway, other hospital backfill projects impacted the kitchen which prompted a re-evaluation of the initial scope, and after review, Palos decided to include significant kitchen renovations and move forward with a multiple phase project.

The operational phasing plan kept parts of the foodservice department intact for as long as possible and dedicated to producing food and feeding patients for as long as possible. Whenever possible, we attempted to create the first phase of construction in newly acquired space to decrease disruption to the department. The operational phasing plan was then vetted through the design and construction team to determine feasibility from an engineering and construction standpoint.

For each phase, the temporary walls and pathway details worked out during construction. The design team worked closely with the contractor on timing and pathways for clean trays, soiled trays, receiving deliveries, and removing trash. Foodservice operators participated in weekly construction meetings for effective communications between the two groups. As Phase I opened up, a temporary tray assembly was moved into the abandoned storage area, along with a temporary pot and pan space. This allowed the Phase II to begin construction on a new tray assembly area to support patient room service.

The final phase moved into the main kitchen to replace primary exhaust hoods and the cooking equipment beneath them. This step was planned to follow the retail and room service phases so that the new cooking areas could be used to bridge the gap when the kitchen was down. The foodservice team temporarily used more frozen and precooked items during this stage to retherm in the other areas.


Location: Palos Heights, MN
Opening Date: February 2015
Equipment Cost: $1,100,000
Kitchen: 10,520 SF
Retail: 4,380 SF
Dining: 6,700 SF


Foodservice Design

“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”

Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP

Partner at frk architects + engineers

“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”

Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

Vice President, Principal at HGA

"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."

David E. Reeves

Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)



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