Renovating and constructing labs, classrooms, and offices is common place for F&S’ Construction Services, but it’s not every day the group gets to build a satellite location for one of the most popular restaurants in town. Yet, that’s exactly what Construction Project Coordinator John Grice and his team did when they constructed a KoFusion restaurant in the Illini Union food court.
Completed almost entirely by F&S Crafts & Trades (Petry Kuhne did the structural framing), the approximately 10,000-square-foot space was a vacated Chinese restaurant when work began in November. When the eatery opened in March, the facility had a whole new façade, new walls, ceilings, floors, counters, work space, wiring, lighting, fixtures, and sprinklers.
“It’s very clean and high-tech looking and really turned out beautifully,” Grice said. “For a small space, it has lot of really nice features. “
The F&S team had a very tight construction schedule. It began work Nov. 2 and was required to be done by January 4. F&S met its deadline, but last-minute Champaign-Urbana Pubic Health District requests and slow delivery of owner-supplied equipment delayed the opening of KoFusion until March.
“We were ready, willing, and able to accommodate any changes to get this thing open,” Grice said. “There were a lot of off-the-cuff fixes that we were able to take care of.”
Now that F&S’ work is done, Grice said he is looking forward to trying out the new restaurant, but has a piece of advice for would-be-patrons.
“Get there early or come late, because it’s going to be busy,” he said. “You would not believe the number of students who came by and were looking at the work. There were so many people so anxious for this space to open.”