August 26, 2013

La Salle Opens Newly Renovated Blue and Gold Dining Commons

 
ribboncutting

La Salle President Br. Michael J. McGinniss, with the assistance from members of the La Salle community, Aramark, and Beacon Architectural Associates, cuts the ribbon to formally open the University’s newly-renovated Blue and Gold Commons.

La Salle University students have a new place to eat, shop, and socialize, just in time for the start of the new school year. La Salle’s Blue and Gold Dining Commons and POD Market is now open after a massive renovation this summer.

Located on Olney Avenue in the North Halls residence complex, the newly renovated Blue and Gold was designed by Beacon Architectural Associates, which specializes in dining construction. The more than 10,000-square-foot space was designed to look contemporary and sleek, while incorporating the latest trends in dining space, such as high-top tables, booths, and community tables that accommodate large groups.

“We see Blue and Gold not only as a place to eat, but also as a place to hang out and socialize with friends,” said Matthew Smith, resident district manager for ARAMARK at La Salle University. Six flat-screen televisions will be installed in the dining space, which seats nearly 400.

The dining hall also includes made-to-order food stations, where fresh food is prepared and served at the same location instead of in the kitchen. Food stations include a Mongolian-style grill, brick oven, expanded salad bar, sauté options, and desserts. The space is designed to be flexible and adapt as student needs evolve and change.

New food offerings include designated gluten-free and vegetarian options. “We are constantly talking to students to learn more about their lifestyles and dietary needs. When they come to La Salle, we have to make sure they are well taken care of and have the food options they need,” Smith said. “The space was clearly designed with our students in mind.”

Also new this year is Healthy for Life, a health and wellness program that provides users with information to make healthy food decisions. To help explore dining options on La Salle’s campus, the Campus Dish mobile app is now available. The app provides daily menus for each campus dining location as well as nutritional information. La Salle Dining has also launched Your Voice Counts, a tool to collect real-time ongoing feedback from consumers to better understand needs and make any necessary changes and improvements.

An adjacent 700-square-foot POD Market was built to provide members of the campus community with grab-and-go food options, such as sandwiches and salads, as well as convenience store offerings similar to what is available in the Union Market.

“In addition to the food options, one of the strengths of the dynamic renovation is how it provides our students an attractive space to eat together and engage in great lively conversations,” said James Moore, Ph.D., La Salle’s Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “I believe the new Blue and Gold will generate a lot of positive energy and enhance the strong sense of community among our students.”

Blue and Gold Dining Commons is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.  and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The POD Market is open from noon to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680.  La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.

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