Collins, Kellogg West Embark on Expansion and Renovation Project

Collins, Kellogg West Embark on Expansion and Renovation Project
The plans include four new academic buildings and a new hotel building.

The Collins College of Hospitality Management is well-known for the student-managed and-operated Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch (RKR), which has served the surrounding community for nearly 20 years. The college now wants to build upon that tried-and-true concept of a living laboratory to include hotel operations.

The college need not look far for a partner. Kellogg West Conference Center & Lodge, which shares the same hilltop location on campus, shares a 35-year history with the college. Faculty offices and classes were once held at the hotel. The first students, who learned to chop, saute and draft a profit and loss statement, did so in the expansive Kellogg West kitchen and meeting rooms. Those days ended by 1990 when the college raised enough private money for its first building.

For the past 19 years they have simply been good neighbors–but that is changing. The college and Kellogg West are embarking on a $30 million expansion and renovation that will bridge the two entities both physically and conceptually.

“The expansion of the college and the renovation and expansion of Kellogg West are not dependent on the other, but we gain so much value and potential when we combine our efforts,” says Collins College Dean Andy Feinstein, who is leading the fund-raising efforts to pay for the joint project.

The proposed plans, designed by alumnus Russel Tyner of the architectural firm Houston/Tyner, place four new academic buildings on the hillside between the college and Kellogg West and a new hotel building adjacent to the main lodge.

The academic buildings will create much needed classrooms, study and gathering space for students as well as faculty and staff offices. Taking advantage of the natural slope, the design will create a setting that is space-efficient and environmentally friendly. Edible landscaping, featuring hops and herbs, will be used in this area to practice and promote sustainability.

The college's founding benefactors, Carol and Jim Collins, pledged $5.25 million to start a campaign to generate the $10 million needed for the college expansion. Efforts are ongoing to raise the matching donations.

Paul Storey, executive director of the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, will oversee the execution of the Kellogg West project, which includes a cosmetic and seismic retrofit as well as the construction of a building that can accommodate 40 hotel guest rooms.

Storey and Feinstein anticipate breaking ground in spring 2011.

In addition to construction plans, Collins College faculty plan to work with Kellogg West employees to develop a program that would allow students to participate in hotel operations. Hospitality Management programs at Cornell University, the University of Houston and the University of Central Florida have benefited greatly by having real-world hotel operations incorporated into instruction, Feinstein says.

“More than 40 percent of our students want to run hotels someday. It's a natural step for the college to develop a hotel class like the RKR where students interact with the public in a living laboratory environment,” Feinstein says. “We are lucky to have the support and partnership with Kellogg West to develop this concept.”