Archive for Monday, June 18, 2012

KU dining renovations to offer students more food options

June 18, 2012


Kansas University students who live and eat on campus will be seeing some upgrades to the menu in the coming years.

As Gertrude Sellards Pearson Hall reopens in the fall after a $13.1 million renovation, it will have a revamped food service area with new dining options.

The dining area was designed with the assistance of a food service consultant, and follows a planned renovation for Mrs. E’s, the larger dining facility in Lewis Hall that serves KU’s Daisy Hill residence halls.

Sheryl Kidwell, KU Dining Services’ assistant director for residential dining, said the newly named North College Cafe would be open to all students with a dining plan.

Previously, the dining facility in GSP consisted mostly of a self-service buffet in the dining room, Kidwell said. Before the renovations, it was open only to residents of GSP and Corbin halls, which share a residential complex at 500 W. 11th St.

The new area will pick up on campus dining trends across the country, featuring cook-to-order setups, where students can choose their own ingredients at stations featuring Italian food, ramen noodles and a pizza oven.

“Everything in there is brand new, ceiling to floor,” Kidwell said.

The new renovations were paid for by KU Dining Services and KU’s Department of Student Housing, which are both funded by fees collected from students.

The Mrs. E’s renovations start next summer, and while plans are still being formed, the Kansas Board of Regents has approved the renovation for a cost of just under $3 million, Kidwell said. The same food service consultant will participate in the planning for those renovations.

One idea for Mrs. E’s involves adding a barbecue smoker.

“That’s one thing we don’t offer a lot of,” Kidwell said, even though the dining areas do offer the occasional pulled pork sandwich or other barbecue item. “We thought of it as the whole idea of doing barbecue right.”

Addison Polk, a senior from Wichita, lived in Corbin three years ago, and remembered the food as being “decent for cafeteria food,” though she and her friends would occasionally go to Mrs. E’s across campus for a better selection.

“More healthier options,” she said when asked if she would recommend any improvements to the food. “I feel like the healthier options weren’t as preferable, so it was easy to eat the pizza or a hamburger.”

— Higher education reporter Andy Hyland can be reached at 832-6388. Follow him at


Dunadan 5 years, 11 months ago

Interesting article, Andy. It would have been great to read the word "local" in reference to the menus at these two kitchens. That would go hand-in-hand with Addison Polk's mention of healthier options.

JackMcKee 5 years, 11 months ago

Are 18 year old girls known for a love of BBQ? It certainly wasn't that way when I was a young'n. Maybe that will give the young men an excuse to go visit GSP.

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years, 11 months ago

GSP is going to be Co-Ed after the renovations.

chootspa 5 years, 11 months ago

Back in the days before E, GSP had the best food on campus. That's where the Department of Student Housing offices were located, and that's where they had their lunches.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 11 months ago

Mrs. E's isn't necessarily better, but it does have a much larger selection than the other two dining halls currently. I personally like the Underground in Wescoe, but E's wasn't bad when I ate there.

Robert Wells 5 years, 11 months ago

Theres a fried Catfish place on Mass I heard that it wasn't bad. Maybe a little watered down.

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