Culinary arts students at Owens Community College recently began classes in the newly constructed Culinary Arts Center on the Toledo-area campus.
The facility spans 14,000-square-feet – an increase over the 3,700-square-foot kitchen lab where classes were taught in the past. The new facility includes three culinary labs – a baking lab, a culinary skills lab, and a restaurant skills lab.
It also includes a classroom and a 75-person capacity dining area with a demonstration station overlooking a tree-lined patio. The center’s large dining area will host lunches and special events, giving students real-world experience creating menus, preparing and plating food and serving.
“This new facility creates many new and exciting opportunities for our students that were not available in our old space,” said Joann Gruner, chair, Food, Nutrition and Hospitality. “Having a larger space will also allow us to reduce student wait lists and more easily meet the needs of the community by providing non-credit courses and industry training in culinary arts.”
State appropriated capital renovation and equipment funds were used to finance the $3.1 million construction project, completed by Holland, Ohio-based Midwest Contracting. Owens received major grants from The Honor Project Trust in the amount of $50,056 for audiovisual and information technology systems and from The Andersons Inc. Charitable Foundation in the amount of $25,000 for equipment. Libbey Glass also made an in-kind donation of tableware and service ware.
The Culinary Arts Center is home to five academic programs – the Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts, the Associate of Applied Science degree in Dietetic Technology, Associate of Applied Business degree in Hospitality Management, a Culinary Arts certificate and a Baking and Pastry certificate.
For more information on the Culinary Arts program, call 1-800-GO-OWENS, ext. 7214.