MILL HALL – When the students at Central Mountain High School have lunch this year, they’ll do it in style.
Over the summer, the CMHS cafeteria was renovated. The floors have been redone, the service area and seats have been renovated, the walls have been repainted and decals have been added to the walls and windows. All of the updates were part of a project estimated to cost approximately $ 303,000.
According to Susan Blesh, Commercial Director of KCSD, the project was “Initiated by student requests for an updated cafeteria. “
It got the ball rolling. Shortly thereafter, the KCSD High School Student Ambassadors then met regularly with Sharon Berger, the KCSD Food and Nutrition Services Supervisor.
“It had to happen to give them a stepping stone to what they will see when they enter higher education or when they leave the Keystone Central School District,” said Berger. “I led the Central Mountain High School student focus group. The students have met me several times. We started in the winter and we have reduced the design process.
When she met the students, Berger took all of their comments seriously. They shared their ideas with the student body on social media and in informal groups.
“I would take their comments back to (creator) Palmer Hamilton”, said Berger.
Palmer Hamilton was then commissioned to design the new cafeteria. Nothing was off the table, so to speak. The cafeteria will now feature several types of seating, including high tables, seating along the wall and the larger traditional round tables.
On the walls, decals and drawings show different types of student activities. Academics, art and sport are well represented on the walls. A big “CM” the sticker covers the large cafeteria window a bit, but still allows plenty of sunlight to enter.
“When the students saw this, they liked it. But the first question they asked me was “is this going to take away the only window we have?” So I went back to Palmer Hamilton and said, ‘What options do you have? “This is how it became transparent, so that it lets in the light”, said Berger.
Most of the freshly painted walls are blue and white. Signage that simply says “Central mountain school” sits above the window.
All graphics highlight the neighborhood’s values: respect for yesterday, pride for today and plans for tomorrow. Renovation ideas started in January and the project started to take shape in June.
“We took the colors of the school and we tried to give them a more contemporary touch and change the look” said Berger.
When it comes to food choices, the “Food court style” set up will offer a plethora of options. There will be a “Around the world” station, which will feature Asian fare including General Tso Chicken with Rice, Orange Chicken with Rice, Teriyaki Chicken with Rice, BBQ Chicken and Rice Vegetable Bowl, and Signature KC Bowl . There will also be Italian dishes at “Around the world,” including cheese ravioli, spaghetti with meat sauce, meatball sub, Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan. Finally, there will be some American standards like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup and macaroni and cheese. The choices will turn to “Around the world.”
There is also a “On the grill” functionality every day. Some of these items include burgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chicken popcorn, chicken fillets, and chicken fries. The “On the grill” functionality will also run.
There is a “Pizza and side dishes” station too. There, students will find a variety of pizzas – everything from plain cheese to Buffalo chicken will be on offer. There are also fries à la carte.
Finally, for students in a hurry, there is a ” To take away “ station, which offers encrustables, hoagies, wraps and salads. There is also “On command” deli where students can build a sandwich or wrap to their liking.
“The students tell us, very vocally, that they really like their wraps and that they love all of their sandwiches and that they like it to be ‘made to order’,” said Berger.
It’s not all pizza, fries, and hoagies, though.
“(Students) will be able to choose a healthy meal from a variety of options. They can mix and match and there will be fruits and vegetables at each of the stations ”, said Berger.
Contactless scanning at the checkout was developed last year. This will continue this year, as students will simply swipe their ID badges at the cash register.
“He will record their sale and let’s go”, said Berger. “We bought these (badges) last year when COVID arrived and it worked really well.”
The CMHS cafeteria had not been renovated since the school was built in 1999.
For more information on meals at Central Mountain High School, visit www.kcsd.us.