Redford Union High School is getting a $700,000 kitchen makeover this summer. The idea is to modernize several kitchen systems to help serve breakfast and lunch more efficiently to students, according to District Nutrition Supervisor Angela Davis.
About 1,000 meals are served each day at the high school. Davis said it’s a significant increase from last school year and changes are needed to help her staff keep pace.
“It’s not a total rebuild,” Davis said of the project. “We’re not knocking down any walls. We think this will help us work more efficiently.”
The Redford Union School Board of Education approved funding for the project by a unanimous vote last week. The project was first discussed about a year ago with requests for proposals being issued last winter.
St. Clair Shores-based Bernco, Inc. won the contract. Davis said the company has worked for the district before, having installed walk-in refrigerators at three schools last year.
“They’re very good and completed the job on-time,” she said.
Replacing the ventilation/exhaust system will be the largest part of the current project. Davis said the building’s original system is still in use.
“It will help us with energy flow and cooling down the kitchen,” Davis said. “It’s a very hot kitchen.”
A new double oven and stove top is also included in the project. An updated cook station will have stainless steel countertops.
Dish cleaning will also become a lot less labor-intensive. Instead of washing everything by hand, a conveyor washing system will be installed, Davis said.
Bernco is expected to start demolition work on June 18 and have the project completed shortly before Labor Day. Davis said workers will need to thoroughly clean the kitchen when construction ends.
She expects the number of meals served at the high school to continue to increase. All Redford Union students now receive free breakfast and lunches, Davis said.
The district meets the State of Michigan’s Community Eligibility Provision guidelines and receives funding to be able to provide free meals. The high school serves up to 300 breakfasts and as many 800 lunches each day, Davis said.
Kitchen improvements will give the high school four functional serving lines, she added. Davis said it’s nice knowing the school will have the ability to provide meals to all students that need them.
Photo courtesy of Redford Union Schools