Skyviews Restaurant begins innovative updates to restaurant facilities
Skyviews Restaurant is moving forward with its planned renovations, serving both clients and students. When explaining the overall concept of the renovations, Texas Tech Engineering Services Project Manager Brook Halbert said that her team's focus is centered on accentuating the Lubbock skyline seen from the restaurant and enhancing the learning experience of Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management (RHIM) students.
"The general concept for the design is centered around accentuating the view of the sky and enhancing the learning experience of the RHIM students by providing state-of-the-art equipment found in restaurants today," Brooke said. "The color palette selected for the interiors stemmed from this concept of 'view of the sky' including several hues of blues, greens, reds, and oranges."
Among the most notable changes being made to Skyviews is to the dining area. A new fixed buffet line with advanced heating and cooling equipment is being added, with its design to follow the angles of the new and existing architecture of the building. New lightweight furniture with chair stacking abilities will be added to accommodate for party size and ease of movement.
Along with the new buffet line and furniture, extensive changes are being made to the dining room ceiling. Brooke added that the ceiling will be redone to include varying heights and material intended to break up space, ultimately stepping toward dining area windows and guiding the restaurant goes toward the view.
Not all changes are being designated to the dining room, some will also include the Skyviews kitchen area. The kitchen will be expanded and brought to the current standards required of Lubbock restaurants. The expansion will also allow for more functional workflow for both staff and students, including added support for the kitchen to now serve pizza.
The process of bringing these concepts together, Brooke explains, included meetings with the client, visits to the existing space, and discussions about needs and hopes for the restaurant space. From there conceptual and schematic designs, including preliminary floor plans, were created.
"This phase of the design process is a significant collaboration with the end-user of the space to help facilitate a discussion of not only how the spaces need to function, but how we can make the spaces better by tailoring the design to the needs of the end-user," Brooke said. "This phase also includes feedback from consultants which included a kitchen consultation with Edward Don & Company, TTU Environmental Health and Safety, and the TTU Fire Marshal."
From this point, plans have moved into design development and ultimately, the construction documents phase. For this stage, Brooke explained that additional consultants came on board for the renovations, including the TTU Operations Division Engineering Services, Fincher Engineering, LLC, Tommy Klein Construction, Inc., and members of the TTU Building Maintenance and Construction team.
"Once all details of the project are finalized, 3D digital renderings are created as both a study of the design to evaluate details and to provide the end-user with images of the final design," Brooke said. "This project is made possible by the support of donor funding, department funding, and Presidential funding."
While the remodeling plans and changes are exciting, Skyviews Restaurant Executive Chef Jason Lindley says it is so much more than that.
"The Skyviews renovation will be so much more than just a restaurant remodel, it will be bringing a new restaurant to life," Jason said. "Now Skyviews will be ready to elevate customer service and more importantly the service we provide to students. As soon as a customer steps off the elevator, they will be engaged with hospitable and friendly interactions. The feel of the restaurant will be very warm and like Lubbock. The walls with be filled with the core of our area, Texas Tech, agriculture, and hospitality."
From his perspective, Jason says, Skyviews is making a full 360-degree change. The kitchen will flow the way it should – especially in-and-out traffic. Equipment placement will make for speedy and efficient service, and the new space will make the effectiveness of learning much higher.