Framingham State University
McCarthy Dining Commons Improvements
After decades of use, Framingham State University’s (FSU) main dining commons was in need of an update to modernize operations and revitalize the student dining experience. FSU and Massachusetts State College Building Authority (MSCBA) engaged MDS to design targeted improvements that opened in 2018.
The servery was reconfigured to create a more open, marketplace style environment that showcases cooking and offers students a stronger sensory experience with their meal prep. New kitchen equipment enables FSU to offer a wider variety of culinary options, with an emphasis on healthy meal selections.
Two serving stations were relocated to expand the seating area within the two-story atrium. The existing dense, standardized dining areas were updated with a greater variety of furnishings and finishes, including new counter seating areas that allow students to dine alongside cooking stations. Sustainable materials, including bamboo, are central in the new finishes and furnishings. Check-in stations were also refreshed to enhance students' sense of arrival.
The open, marketplace style servery showcases cooking and offers students a stronger sensory experience with their meal prep.
Our design introduced a greater variety of finishes that shape different dining areas and provides students with a range of seating options.
Enthusiastically supported by students and the broader campus community, the project added FSU’s first on-campus Dunkin’ Donuts on the upper level of the McCarthy Center. Campus surveys indicated this was strongly favored by students over the existing coffee kiosk.