Mar 242008
 
Authors: Ryan Avery

After a two-year, $18 million process, the new Academic Village dining hall, which will feed engineering and honors students living in the residence hall, as well as students from across campus, saw its grand opening Monday.

More than 600 students swarmed the grand opening of the new dining center, the Ram’s Horn, Monday.

“It doesn’t get better then this. Our hard work paid off and it feels like the ultimate high,” said Deon Lategan, director of Residential Dining Services. “The most common word I heard was ‘wow.'”

The center includes a Mongolian grill line, sizzling salad bar, bread lines and sweet treats.

“There is just so much,” said Crystal Elmore, public coordinator for the project. “The students don’t have any questions they are just taking it all in.”

Dining Services hopes to provide as many “green” or biodegradable products as possible to the students who frequent Ram’s Horn, Lategan said.

The dining center is run on 100 percent green electricity and all the to-go items such as plates, cups and plastic wear are completely biodegradable and made with cornstarch and sugarcane fibers.

The center also has a closed garbage disposal, the pulper, where unwanted food material can be discarded — water and waste are then separated and water can be reused and recycled.

“Other schools who use this system have reported to save 120,000 gallons of water a month,” Lategan said.

The facility can feed more than 3,000 students per two-hour meal period.

“When I started this job we had nine dining centers and by next semester we will be condensed down to four,” Lategan said. “It’s more cost efficient for CSU to have one large dining center rather than multiple facilities to eat.”

Erin Smith, a new staff member of the Ram’s Horn Express, said he is excited for her new job.

“This place has so much to offer, and I love making coffee; it’s a great job,” Smith said.

Only in its first day of operation, excited students have already coined Ram’s Horn Express “Rex.”

Ram’s Horn serves everything from pancake wraps, espresso shots, sushi, Boca burgers and the norms like pizza, pasta and chicken nuggets.

Staff writer Ryan Avery can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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