Cox Food Court to Close During Summer for Kitchen Upgrade

The kitchen in Cox Hall will undergo renovation starting May 15 and will re-open on Aug. 13 in time for the fall semester, according to Interim Executive Director of the Food Service Administration Kenny Hemmer. Cox Hall Food Court will be closed this summer as a result of
these renovations.

Vice President for Campus Services Matthew Early cited old and dysfunctional equipment and the need for greater efficiency as the main reasons for the renovation.

Hemmer said that there are only two large kitchens on campus — located at Cox Hall and the Dobbs University Center — and there is a need for adequate facilities in both locations in case one area is not functioning as another reason for the renovation.

According to Hemmer, the kitchen will undergo a complete renovation but very little will be done in the area that customers see.

“All the concepts that are there now won’t change,” Hemmer said. “But we have gone in and completely redesigned the layout of the kitchen to be more efficient and provide more production.”

The goal of the project is to improve the functional kitchen operations and increase the kitchen’s efficiency in addition to reviewing the overall long-term capacities and operations, according to the Emory construction website.

Early said that in addition to the cooking process becoming more efficient with new equipment, employees will be able to do a better job cooking and preparing food, and the kitchen will also become more energy efficient.

“It’s completely being gutted and renovated,” Early commented. “This is going to be state-of-the-art and will allow them [cooks] to set up everything in the way that kitchens are set up today, allowing food prep to be efficient.”

In addition to providing equipment to cook the food served in Cox Hall, the kitchen is also used for all Emory catering and to-go foods, such as sandwiches and salads at the Fly By, Hemmer said.

“What you will see is out in the satellite world,” Hemmer said. “We will have the ability to do a better job with the variety of sandwiches and salads in the grab-and-go world.” said Hemmer.

While the majority of the renovations will be in the kitchen area, there will also be a few cosmetic changes in the dining area. The soda machines located in front of the Emory Market Deli will be moved so that they are facing the outside dining area, according to Early.

— Contact Nicholas Sommariva

4/16/2012