AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Auburn University is home to Alabama’s only professionally accredited hospitality program, and now university officials have plans to build a world-class culinary center for students, coming in 2021.
The Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center, will be a learning environment with a luxury boutique hotel and restaurant.
The $95.4 million, 142,000 square-foot facility will provide students interested in hospitality and culinary sciences with hands-on learning experiences in a teaching hotel and a teaching restaurant, as well as a range of classrooms and demonstration and food production laboratories. University officials say it will be the first of its kind in the country.
“This is a center that’s going to do things very very differently than anybody else within the state, very different nationally, and also it’s going to be something very unique internationally,” said Martin O’Neill, head of the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management in Auburn’s College of Human Sciences. “We’ve had the opportunity, myself and colleagues, to visit the very best of the best internationally, and it’s safe to say that, other than Antarctica, that we’ve been on every continent looking at those programs, and while they’re all known for one thing, this center is going to do absolutely everything.”
Construction at the corner of East Thach Avenue and South College Street will begin after an April groundbreaking ceremony.
The Rane Culinary Science Center will be the first revenue-generating academic building at Auburn.