SCC opens doors on new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Center

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
The new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Center at Scott Community College.

With stainless steel polished to a mirror-like finish, Scott Community College (SCC) today (September 22) officially opened its new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Center.

Construction on the 10,000-square-foot, $2.3 million facility, was begun last summer and completed just in time for the start of fall classes this year. The center is located at SCC’s main campus in Bettendorf and is home for the college’s Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management and Events Management programs.

“This is an exciting day for us,” SCC President Dr. Tom Coley said. “We have been working on creating a home for these programs for several years and it is with great satisfaction that we have reached that goal today.”

A major part of the funding for the facility resulted from a 2007 bond referendum approved by the voters of the Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICCD). SCC, along with its sister Clinton and Muscatine Community Colleges, are all a part of EICCD.

Funding from that referendum has been used for a variety of projects throughout the district including new science centers at all three colleges, a new center in Maquoketa, a partnership to build a new library and college center in Wilton, and expansion of the SCC’s career technology building. A new west Davenport center is expected to be opened later next year adjacent to the Fairmount Street Library.

SCC’s new Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Center boasts a culinary instructional lab with television monitors that provide students with different angles of the stovetops and ovens as instructors prepare their foods. The ceiling-mounted cameras focus on various areas of the instructor’s station and can be switched by the instructor simply stepping on the floor mats behind the station.

Behind the culinary lab is a baking lab with butcher block tables and ovens for students to learn the finer points of baking. The facility also includes commercial dishwashers, compactors and other equipment students will encounter in the workplace.

Individuals entering the building feel as if they have entered an actual hotel lobby with a desk and reception area to one side and the dining lab on the other. The dining lab is used by students in the Hospitality and Events Management programs and doubles as classroom space. Those students also utilize a full hotel bedroom suite and a laundry/linen room.

The entire building has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment equal to or better than the students will find once they enter the working world.

SCC’s Culinary Arts program began in 1991, Hospitality Management in 2007, and Events Management is new this year. Both the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs are two-year degree programs. More than 100 students are currently enrolled in the programs.

The programs are apprenticeship-based. Students spend part of their week learning in the college’s classrooms and labs, and the remainder working in the field at area restaurants and convention centers.

“The new center is a tremendous benefit for our students and instructors,” said Brad Scott, Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Department Chair. “In the past we’ve had to work with many area restaurants to locate lab space for our program. Now we have a true home for our labs, and we couldn’t have asked for a better one.”

An open house for the center has been scheduled for October 7 from 4 – 6 p.m.  Everyone is invited to the event, both those who might be interested in enrolling in one of the programs as well as those who are simply interested in taking a tour of the new building.

“It’s hard to get a full picture of how great this facility is without seeing it,” Scott said. “We really hope people take advantage of this opportunity to come out and let us show them around.”

The new Culinary Instructional Lab at Scott Community College