University of Kentucky officials broke ground Monday on a 1,000-seat dining hall that is to house a Panera Bread restaurant and a research institute aimed at bolstering the use of locally grown food.
"The 90" — named for the right-angle juncture of Hilltop and Woodland avenues, where the building will sit — is a $32 million, 80,000-square-foot structure built by food services corporation Aramark as part of the multinational company's new dining services contract with UK.
It's scheduled to open next fall.
In addition to several restaurants, the building will contain offices for Food Connection, a new partnership financed by Aramark with the College of Food, Agriculture and Environment to study local food systems.
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To get UK's long-term business, Aramark signed a 15-year, $245 million contract, in which the company will pay for $70 million in new construction and $5 million for the food institute.
The 90 also will have classrooms and offices for faculty and staff.