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Remodeled Franklin Middle School Cafeteria Kitchen Opened To Students

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Students have a variety of sandwich and salad choices from which to choose.


Franklin Middle School students cheered Sept. 26 as a ceremonial blue ribbon was cut in front of the newly remodeled cafeteria kitchen.

The ribbon was cut by Board of Education president Ed Potosnak, surrounded by school and district administrators.

Boasting brand new, state-of-the-art equipment, a new floor and a new “traffic flow,” the district hopes the new layout will solve problems that have for years plagued middle school students trying to get lunch.

“We spent the whole summer doing a remodeling project of the serving line, because the serving line was 30 years old and it was not efficiently set up,” said Margaret DeBlasi, the district’s food service director. “The students were having to bunch into the corners, and it was causing traffic jams. The cashiers were located behind the serving line and it was taking up half of the serving area, so we brought the cashiers out.”

The kitchen now features refrigeration and “hot wells” on the line, so that sandwiches and salads could stay cold and hot items remain warm, she said.

“The whole serving line was gutted,” she said. “A complete remodel.”

“So we have new equipment, the ladies have more room to operate back there, it’s more efficient and speedier service,” DeBlasi said.

Under the new design, students enter at either the far left or far right sides of the kitchen. Along both walls are “everyday items,” such as sandwiches and salads and fruits and vegetables. Along the back wall are the daily specials. There are also racks for chips and coolers for beverages.

On the first day, the special – chosen by a committee of students – was nachos with all the fixings. And, lunch was free that day.

The $299,000 project was paid for by the food services program and the district’s capital reserve funds, said district spokeswoman Mary Clark.

School principal Reginald Davenport said the school is “really excited about the changes.”

“It really is expanding food services and making sure the kids have what they need nuritrionally, and that they have what they want to eat, as opposed to well, this is school lunch,” he said. “It gets us beyond the traditional school lunch.”

2016 New FMS Kitchen

 

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