Following its opening in October 2020, University of Massachusetts Amherst’s all-new $68 million Worcester Commons — completed by Shawmut in partnership with architecture firm Perry Dean Rogers — has been honored with the 2021 Best New Facility Award from Food Management (FM) Magazine.

The three-story, 68,000-square-foot complex combines dining and student life to create a unique hub. The first floor showcases a cafe and grab-and-go area, with the second floor home to main dining. Modeled after a food hall concept, the facility features 12 globally inspired stations. In addition, the facility hosts two teaching kitchens that allow for student hands-on learning with guest chefs. The third floor houses a 90-seat business casual restaurant, dubbed The Commonwealth, Auxiliary Enterprises offices, and student life activity rooms. To continue to push the boundaries of university student life, the complex also incorporates a neighborhood center — made up of lounges, meeting and club rooms, collaboration spaces, music practice studios, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

FM Magazine’s awards recognize innovative and creative initiatives undertaken by onsite dining operations across various markets throughout the country. UMass Dining is the largest collegiate dining program in the United States and is a recognized leader among college dining programs.