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ASU opens Nutrition Kitchens downtown

April 08, 2011

ASU nutrition program is 2nd largest in nation

The School of Nutrition and Health Promotion marked the opening of its new Nutrition Instructional Kitchens on the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus with a reception and open house for alumni and registered dietitians in the community. The state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are used to educate 300 students annually and replace kitchen labs that were more than 50 years old.

“We envision the new kitchens being a landmark on the downtown campus,” said Carol Johnston, nutrition program director. “Not only are these kitchens state-of-the-art, energy-efficient and environmentally sound, they are spectacular and bold visually. Needless to say, we are ecstatic about the new kitchens.”

The last complete kitchen renovation occurred in the 1950s when the "home economics" building was constructed on the ASU Tempe campus. When the nutrition program was moved from the Tempe to the Polytechnic campus in 2000, only minor renovations were made to these kitchens. 

The 5,138 square-foot facility houses a food laboratory with computer monitors at the student stations, retail and commercial kitchens, a multi-purpose room and office space. The kitchens are located on the ground floor of the NHI1 building at 500 N. 3rd Street on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

The kitchen design and construction project was completed in just five months, Johnston said. The kitchens have a sustainable green design that provides natural daylight and direct sight lines between the students and the instructor. Wall insulation was made from recycled blue jeans. LEA Architects, LLC of Phoenix designed the kitchens and SDB, Inc., an Arizona firm, constructed them.

Craig Thatcher, interim associate executive vice provost for Health Solutions, said the program is the second-largest in the United States in terms of enrollment.

“The integration of the program into the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion combines health promotion and healthcare in one academic unit, which are both essential for keeping people healthy and improving patient outcomes,” Thatcher said.

Career options in nutrition include becoming a registered dietitian, a food service director, a restaurant business entrepreneur, or a pharmaceutical or food industry professional. Registered dietitians also go onto medical, dental, pharmacy or graduate school.

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