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Press Release for Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UNF Osprey Commons and Café Win Project of the Year

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Associate Director

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2102


The Associated Builders and Contractors, Northeast Florida Chapter, recently awarded the new Osprey Commons and Café at the University of North Florida not one but three awards. The project was honored Aug. 28 with the Merit Choice Award for employing the largest number of ABC member firms. Next, the project received the Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction, and finally the new 58,000-square-foot facility was awarded the Project of the Year.


“It was a distinct pleasure to work with the team of Barton-Malow Company, Design +/Smith-McCrary Architects and all their distinguished consultants to achieve this award-winning facility,” said Zak Ovadia, director of Campus Planning Design and Construction at UNF. “Project team members readily embraced the concept of collaboration and cooperation evidenced by the results currently being enjoyed not only by the students today, but also by UNF as a whole for years to come.”


The new Osprey Café opened Aug. 1 and was built to replace the existing cafeteria. The new 600-seat facility features a 28-foot-tall, two-story ceiling and six action stations, where chefs prepare the freshest ingredients right before the students. Interspersed throughout the seating area, these stations can also be viewed from the second-floor mezzanine seating area.


With more than 2,000 students currently on a meal plan, the Osprey Café features tray-less serving and an all-you-can-eat format. Different cuisines—everything from grilled favorites to healthier vegan and gluten-free fare or varied ethnic staples—are split into separate pods. There is no reheating or microwaved food; everything is made fresh in front of diners.


“There’s a total of 10 different points of service, including two separate action stations where Chartwells chefs prepare the day’s special. The new facility is open longer hours and has a larger staff,” said Dave Jordan, Chartwells resident district manager.


In order to provide each action station with a pathway for utilities and exhaust, the design team created a never before constructed tensioned-fabric structure to conceal the utilities and add excitement to the space. Called cycloids by the design and construction team, these simple shapes became the signature element in the new dining facility.


Nestled against UNF’s Candy Cane Lake, the dining facility features an abundance of windows, which provide natural lighting and picturesque views of the natural setting. The University remains committed to being environmentally friendly with seven certified buildings that meet “green” standards. UNF’s newest facility is also in line to receive a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, a private, nonprofit group that encourages environmentally responsible buildings.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.