CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials joined UTC Chancellor Dr. Roger Brown in cutting the ribbon for Crossroads, a $3 million dollar facility described as a new dining concept.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said, "UTC has hit another home run," as he admired the all-you-can-eat dining area, located in the heart of the campus near the Lupton Library.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield urged students to choose from the facility's healthy food options, which are liberally mixed in among the pizza, chili, sandwiches and desserts.  He also hailed the economic potential of Crossroads, which will employ about 75 people.

Dr. Brown noted the University's growth, with a current enrollment of more than 11,000 students.  He said the campus has seen unprecedented progress in recent years, with more than $300 million in capital projects either completed or still in progress.

The Crossroads project employed 16 local companies and some 80 construction workers during various phases of the job, with much of the work taking place during the summer.  Aramark, UTC's dining services partner, has equipped the facility with a breakfast bar, salad/fruit bar, a "hot zone" featuring meats and vegetables, a deli, brick oven for pizza, and an ice cream bar.

Service is provided with real dishes, glasses and silverware, which officials noted will be better for the environment.  No Styrofoam is being offered because takeout orders will not be an option at Crossroads.

Also included is a stand-alone Subway restaurant with two serving lines.  The facility is in addition to the current dining facility at the UTC University Center, which was enlarged and renovated in recent years.

Vice Chancellor Dr. Richard Brown called Crossroads "an excellent addition to our campus.  The students and faculty will love it, and we're very proud of it."