The Hospitality Arts department at Kirkwood Community College has been training students for more than 20 years and has gained a regional and national reputation for hospitality career preparation. Recognizing the need to find new and more comprehensive approaches to teaching students about the many career possibilities in the hospitality industry, Kirkwood is building a full-service hotel/restaurant/conference facility on its Cedar Rapids, Iowa, campus: The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.
The Hotel at Kirkwood Center will be a real-world learning laboratory. Every aspect of its operation is designed to encourage and enhance the awareness and training potential of current and future students. This new hotel, restaurant and conference center will expand those opportunities.
Currently under construction, the $29 million, four-story facility will feature 71 guest rooms, including six suites and a variety of other lodging choices.
“As a laboratory, this facility will truly be world-class,” says Lee Belfield, a hospitality program faculty member and general manager of the hotel. “It will be a magnificent place for creating a new, alternative national model for preparing graduates to enter the industry.”
Combined with the Kirkwood Center for Continuing Education, there will be 15,000 square feet of meeting/conference space, a 4,000-square-foot reception area, and an auditorium that seats more than 100 people. The hotel will be available for special events such as weddings, family reunions, and business conferences—events that will provide crucial learning opportunities for students. Offering a cosmopolitan atmosphere and sophistication that will give students excellent training and daily work experiences, the hotel is targeted to open in July 2010. For more information, visit www.opnarchitects.com.