Auburn University
Rendering of plans for the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center at Auburn University

Auburn University will build culinary science facility

Feb. 20, 2019
The $94.5 million center will have classrooms and labs as well as a hotel and restaurant.

Auburn University has approved plans to build a $94.5 million culinary science center on the Auburn, Ala., campus.

The university says the 142,000-square-foot Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center will combine a learning environment with a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant. It is scheduled to open in 2021.

“The Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center will be an academic learning environment equipped to launch our students into leadership roles in the culinary and hospitality industries,” says Auburn University President Steven Leath. “The campus and community will also reap the benefits of having such a dynamic destination for food, hospitality and instruction so close to home.”

The facility will provide students interested in hospitality and culinary sciences with hands-on learning experiences in a hotel and a restaurant, as well as a range of classrooms and demonstration and food production laboratories.

The plans for the center started more than a decade ago. University administrators visited facilities around the world and developed a plan to create an academic resource for students interested in culinary-focused careers.

Gifts to the College of Human Sciences, university general funds and revenue from the hotel, restaurant, a food hall and leased living units will cover the project cost, the university says.

Teaching areas of the center include: The Laurel, a luxury boutique teaching hotel; 1856, 40-seat teaching restaurant; Heyday Market, a 9,000-square-foot food hall; a Wine Appreciation Center that has a tasting room for 50 students; Distilled Spirits Center that will have a micro distillery; a Brewing Science Laboratory that will have a micro-teaching brewery, tasting room and microbiology laboratory; a Culinary Exhibition Lab, where students can observe demonstrations; and a Food and Beverage Media Studio, where students will be taught food and beverage photography and videography.

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