For dishwashing, the main dishroom is on the market level for convenience; however, staff must transport wares and dishes from the upper level down to the market level via an elevator.

Throughout the facility, among the more challenging problems was selecting and positioning exhaust fans and systems. “The residence hall above the foodservice area required a very tight structural grid and had exhaust fan location limitations,” says Carlson.

“We wanted to use energy-efficient exhaust hoods along with demand-control ventilation, but we also needed to meet the state purchasing requirements and list at least three manufacturers,” Carlson adds. “We got exhaust volume proposals from six to seven hood manufacturers and based our spec on the highest volume of the three lowest overall volumes. The problem is, we had to get information from several manufacturers and put the information on a spreadsheet and figure out the lowest three and make sure the hoods could all perform at that volume.

“In addition, the university had had problems with island hoods not capturing smoke and vapors on past projects, so a performance guarantee was added to the spec,” he continues. “Unfortunately we are having problems with one of the hoods at Four Lakes, and we’ve had to enforce the performance guarantee. Gordon’s okay.”

As Schoonover, Luke and the UW staff work with the new facility, they continue to tweak production in order to maximize efficiency and customer satisfaction. So far, they are greatly satisfied with the enormous change in campus dining and the positive feedback they are receiving about the environment and quality of food.

Facts of Note: Gordon Avenue Market

  • Ownership: University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 43,000 students
  • Opened: August 2012
  • Location: In the Gordon Dining and Event Center in the southeast area of campus
  • Size: 99,800-sq.-ft. project; total foodservice area, 67,000 sq. ft. (market servery: 11,000 sq. ft.; lower-level production and storage: 8,950 sq. ft.; market production area: 3,800 sq. ft.; seating: 13,000 sq. ft.; coffee and ice cream shop: 800 sq. ft.; convenience store: 1,700 sq. ft.; catering set-up and storage: 1,650 sq. ft.)
  • Seats: Gordon has 3 separate dining areas providing seating for 600. Guests relax in a spacious fireplace lounge or second-floor balcony gathering space overlooking the dining area. An upper-level event space includes the Symphony meeting room, which seats 300. In addition, the Overture, Concerto and Sonata conference/meeting rooms each seat 250 and together can become 1 large room that seats 750. A separate formal dining/meeting room accommodates 20 guests. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the nearby Kohl Center arena and residence halls.
  • Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Flamingo Run: seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; The Bean and Creamery: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Menu Specialties: Gordon features 12 diverse à la carte dining venues and a convenience store offering groceries, snacks and other sundries. Each venue offers freshly made or finished-to-order specialties including stone hearth-baked pizzas, grass-fed-beef burgers, and a broad array of international specialties.
  • Average Check: $3.40 per resident transaction; $4.10 per nonresident transaction
  • Total Annual Sales: $9.7 million
  • Transactions per day: 7,000 per day at Gordon
  • Staff: 10 managers; 600 students; 45 full-time staff
  • Total Building Investment: $34.1 million
  • Foodservice Equipment Investment: $3.8 million
  • Website:


Key Players

  • Owner: University of Wisconsin–Madison, University Housing
  • Director of University Housing: Paul Evans
  • Director of Dining and Culinary Services for Residential Dining: Joie Schoonover
  • Associate Director of Dining and Culinary Services: Julie Luke
  • Gordon Dining and Event Center Manager: Barbara Phelan
  • Executive Chef: Jeffery C. Orr, CEC
  • Architect: Potter-Lawson, Madison
  • Associate Architect and Interior Design: Cannon Design, New York City; Mecayla Cobb, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate; Bradley Lukanic, AIA, LEED AP, principal
  • Consultants, Foodservice Design: Robert Rippe & Associates, Minnetonka, Minn.; Steve Carlson, FCSI, LEED AP, president; Terry Pellegrino, FCSI, principal; Jill Anderson, senior project manager; Monica Thesing, senior equipment specialist
  • Equipment Dealer: TriMark Gill Group, Hamilton, Mont.