On Friday, Grambling State University officials and foodservice ally, SodexoMAGIC, revealed a beautifully refurbished dining lobby to a crowd of students, staff and members of the community.
SodexoMAGIC is a collaborative project that was formed in 2006, between Magic Johnson Enterprises, LLC, and Sodexo, Inc.. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is an active chairman and owns 51 percent of the organization, qualifying it as NMSDC Minority Owned Business.
Widely known as McCall Dining Hall, the reconstruction of the 20,000 square foot establishment was a campus-wide effort and project. In order to create the dream dining hall for students, students themselves participated in the project by taking surveys regarding dining options and accommodations.
The students' feedback was a vital asset to the $5 million redesign project.
Rick Gallot, president of Grambling State University, said he appreciated the effort students put in, but also signified the importance of this dining hall.
Gallot said the dining hall manifested the reflection of what students wanted. He also stated that it is more than just incredible food; it is constructed to provide a sense of home for the students as well.
The new dining hall incorporated another pizza stove, a mixed salad bar that offers full customization, a full-service pasta station that includes homemade pasta, another station called Bistro 1901; that is intended to serve conventional solace and soul foods, a plant-based station and a smoothie/juice bar.
Simple Servings, a Sodexos idea of serving dishes free from the top eight food allergens, was expanded for students with food hypersensitivities and intolerances. In the new Simple Servings station, committed planning space has been included to decrease the danger of cross-contact contamination.
Another new addition is a center staged salad bar and 'Chefs Table' showcase station. It is intended to offer students with numerous chances to connect directly with the culinary group as they plan and serve meals.
The establishment also has a game room, stage, and projector for dining occasions constructed for the students.
SodexoMAGIC group is also planning to hold movie nights, chef cooking showcases, and karaoke contests.
For basketball fans, there will be a March Madness basketball screening in the new eating lobby.