The Ohio State University – Kennedy Commons

Kennedy Commons houses the oldest all-you-care-to-eat residential dining facility on this large campus. This project includes the complete renovation of the existing historic building which was constructed in several phases, portions of which date back to 1940.

The multi-building nature of the foodservice facility allowed for the creation of two completely separate venues connected to one common kitchen preparation and storage area. The coffee shop with bakery and deli provides students with 24-hour service and an inviting 150-seat dining room with a separate outside entry. A larger, 350-seat all-you-care-to-eat area with entry checkers offers the ability to change menus easily depending upon student preferences. Primary stations include a grill area, a special diet and vegetarian station, a chefs’ stage with interchangeable cooking equipment, a home cooking station, and a large salad bar including fresh entrée salads. The special diet station fulfilled a critical need on campus to provide fresh and customized menu options to the growing number of students with food allergies and sensitivities.

Reconfiguring the entire space allowed for improved workflow, larger storage areas, a more open production space, and the ability to move warewashing from the basement up to the main level. This centrally located warewashing area allows easy access from the kitchen and both foodservice venues. An upper-level balcony has been isolated as a dining room to accommodate special dinners and living/learning community functions. One of the main level dining rooms has also been designed to allow for separate special events.


Location: Columbus, OH
Opening Date: September 2011
Peak Meal Volume: 3,000


Dining Facility Renovation

“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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