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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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New University Dining Center Location

phase 2b dining hall map

[PDF] Residential Dining Facility Pre-Design Report (1 MiB)

Summary Statement

This project is for new construction of a 60,614 GSF Dining Building (Phase 2B).

  • The university has eliminated one of its two existing board dining facilities.  Currently 2,700 students are served in a dining facility designed for 1,800.  Students have complained about long lines and crowding.  The new dining facility will serve projected future demand of 3,000 students.
  • A previous study determined that the existing Carkoski Commons building cannot be cost effectively renovated to serve dining needs. The Carkoski Commons building remains in place until 2019 or later, when it will be demolished to make room for the next phase of student housing.  Demolition will be funded in that phase.
  • Phase 2B Dining program includes: student dining and residential support spaces. 


  • Design beginning Fall 2013
  • Construction: September 2015 - April 2017
  • Facility opening January 2017


  • Construction cost (including escalation) is estimated to be $25,176,442.
  • Project cost (including escalation) is $31,406,500.
  • Total project funded by revenue bonds.

Project Background

Preceding work includes the following:

  • Phase 1 construction of a 608 bed Julia A. Sears residence community (2008)
  • Phase 2 Pre-Design examined the replacement of the 1200-bed Gage Residential and Dining Facility decommissioned in fall 2012. Gage was demolished in summer 2013.
  • Phase 2 will be built on Parking lot #13 south of Carkoski Commons and McElroy, and north of the Library.

Residential dining phase summary:

  • 2007 - Up to 2,891 students were served in 41,687 GSF of residential dining space.
  • 2012 - Upon abandoning the Gage facility, up to 2,857 students were served in 22,155 GSF of residential dining space.  Modest renovations have maximized functionality of existing Carkoski, yet the total dining square footage is inadequate.
  • 2017 - Upon completion of the Dining Building, up to 2,857 students will be served in 49,075 GSF of residential dining space.

Financial analysis performed by the University demonstrated that new construction could effectively be implemented in three phases.

These three projects are hereafter referred to as Phase 2A, 2B, and 2C:

  • Phase 2A:  300 Bed Margaret R. Preska Residence Community, including First Year Experience (opened fall 2012).
  • Phase 2B: Dining Services (subject of this report)
  • Phase 2C: 330 Beds, Residential Life Office, IT, and Retail Dining


A detailed examination of food service needs was executed by food service consultant Envision Strategies.  The board space program is based on the results of the demand analysis.  Demand anaylsis detail is based on industry planning guidelines and developed through a proprietary process.


This planning exercise examines phasing issues anticipated in construction of a new Dining Building and subsequent demolition of Carkoski.  Residential support spaces primarily located in the Carkoski basement, are currently inadequate.  They must be replaced in the current project so that cleaning, engineering and other support services have adequate space and ventilation.  Their current locations will be demolished with Carkoski; it is critical to plan for continuous residential support services.


The Carkoski Commons building remains in place until 2019 or later when it will be demolished to make room for the next phase of student housing.  Demolition will be funded in Phase 2C.


Two schemes were considered:
     1.  Housing and programming that replaces Carkoski entirely with new construction.
     2.  Housing and programming that incorporates a renovated Carkoski.

It was found that the existing space configuration in Carkoski limits efficient use and that the MEP systems have outlived their useful life. It was determined that a renovation would be more costly from an overall engineering standpoint.  Therefore, new construction was recommended as the best option for the University.

2007 dining          2012 dining          2017 dining

2007 - The university's plan to locate           2012 - Upon abandoning the                         2017 -  Upon completion of the Dining
all residential dining services in                   Gage facility, up to 2,857 students were       Building, up to 2,857 students
one building necessitated a                          served in 22,155 GSF of residential              will be served in 49,075 GSF
review of the current Carkoski                       dining space.  Modest renovations have      of residential dining space.
Commons.  Carkoski was de-                      maximized functionality of existing
signed to serve 1,800 students.                   Carkoski yet the total dining square 
It is currently serving up to 2,857                   footage is inadequate.
students.  Capacity up to 3,000
students is the planned goal.

Summer 2015 Construction Pedestrian Access and Walkways

Pedestrian access routes around the 2017 Dining Hall Construction Zone are shown below in green and yellow.

Summer 2015 dining hall