Iowa State University Opens New $6 Million Dining Hall to Feed Growing Student Population

AMES, Iowa  --  Iowa State University has opened a new $6 million dining hall to help meet the demands of record growth at the school.

Windows is a new dining center located on the first floor of Friley Hall. It had been operated as a dining center since the 1940s, but closed in 2003 when the Union Drive Dining Center opened. Another dining center was also located in Friley called Dungeons. This center closed a few years back and now serves as a study area.

“As everyone knows, enrollment has continued to grow at Iowa State, which we're very proud of, but our food services need to increase with that enrollment,” said Karen Rodekamp, Business Manager of ISU Dining Services. “Windows certainly helps relieve the pressure of our other locations.”

The dining and housing operate in a self-sustaining manner, using only student fees to support both services. The students can eat here for $1,200 a semester, which amounts to around $6 per meal. They can eat all they want, and the hall is set up so wait times for food are short.

“Their main reason to be on campus is learning, so we add to that experience by getting them fed and nourished and on their way,” said Rodekamp.

ISU Dining is also working with a farm near Muscatine to provide chicken to serve, and tofu comes from an Iowa City firm, made with Iowa soybeans.

“The pizza is very popular. The chefs make a great homemade crust, it's made from scratch daily,” said Rodekamp. "The chicken, tofu, and the Ramen, all that from fresh ingredients, unique flavors, just getting back to the freshness of the products.”

A formal grand opening is set for next Tuesday.

42.023923 -93.650450