Auburn’s $110M Culinary Science Center slated to open this summer

Auburn University
A rendering of the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center. (Auburn University)

The new home for Auburn’s esteemed Hospitality Management program is set to open this summer, just in time for the 2022 fall semester. Let’s dive into all the excitement that is the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center.


Auburn University
A dream coming to reality. (Maggie Dazzio / Bama Buzz)

Named in honor of Tony and Libba Rane, The Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC) is unlike any other facility the university has seen. The Hospitality program at Auburn is known as Alabama’s only professionally accredited program, gaining insight from around the world and bringing it back to The Plains. The RCSC is the result of decades of visionary leadership and collaboration between the Auburn University College of Human Sciences and industry leaders, beginning with Ritz-Carlton Co-Founder Horst Schulze and continuing with Ithaka Hospitality Partners since 2018. The RCSC will provide state-of-the-art services for students, community members, visitors and alumni.

“The fact that Auburn is partnering with a hospitality management company, Ithaka Hospitality Partners, means that students will graduate with not only academic knowledge but also with hands-on experience from the commercial side of the partnership – the teaching, fully-operating restaurant, hotel, and spa – that they wouldn’t have such easy access to otherwise…our goal is for the Rane Center to be a destination and an experience for both Auburn Hospitality Management students and the greater community.”

––Hans van der Reijden, Founder of Ithaka Hospitality Partners

What to expect

Auburn Culinary
Hey Day Market, Auburn’s first food-hall, renderings. (Auburn University)

The RCSC has amazing amenities up their sleeve. Here’s what you can expect.

1. 1856:

1856 is a one-of-a-kind teaching restaurant. It will serve a la carte lunch and a tasting menu during dinner. The open kitchen will allow guests to watch as their food is prepared, immersing students into amazing learning experiences.

2. Coffee Roastery & Café:

It wouldn’t be Auburn without another spot to grab quality coffee. Coffee roasting is coming to campus, teaching students the art of roasting coffee from bean to cup.

3. Educational Labs:

The RCSC will include educational labs throughout the facility, each honing in on a specific hospitality area, such as cuilnary, pastry, catering, winemaking, food styling, photography and more.

4. Hey Day Market:

RCSC will feature the city’s first food hall, Hey Day Market. All vendors in the market will serve sustainable meals on-site for the community.

5. The Laurel Hotel & Spa:

The RCSC is soon to be home to an ultra-luxury hotel and spa. The hotel will provide the city with yet another high-quality visiting spot for visitors and alumni.

6. Microbrewery:

Students will learn the craft of brewing through the center’s teaching brewery, tasting room and microbiology laboratory.

7. Rooftop Terrace:

Last but certainly not least, the rooftop terrace. The rooftop presents an infinity pool, large garden used for fresh produce, lounge and event space. While the pool is reserved for hotel guests only, the lounge and bar will be open to the public.

Creating future leaders

Auburn Hospitality
Students gaining hands-on experience. (Auburn University Hospitality Management Program / Facebook)

Each one of these elements within the RCSC is geared toward educating our future hospitality leaders as well as providing amazing service to the Auburn community. The ultramodern elements you’ll see in the RCSC will create one of the most immersive and unique learning environments the state, and even the country has ever seen.

“The curriculum will be groundbreaking. The program will be one of just three in the country to offer graduate level brewing qualifications to support the craft brewing industry. All majors will require a minor in business in order to prepare graduates with the financial and organizational acumen required for a successful career in the field of Hospitality Management.”

––Dr. Martin O’Neill, Horst Schulze Endowed Professor of Hospitality Management at Auburn University
Want to know more about developments coming to the state of Alabama? Follow us on social @TheBamaBuzz.
Maggie Dazzio
Maggie Dazzio
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