By Anna Skinner
Beginning last May, Carmel High School began updating its main cafeteria – one of three on campus. The cafeteria had not been updated in 30 years, leading to spacing and equipment issues and the need for more cashier lines to serve the 2,600 students cycling through each day.
Updates were finished by the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, allowing for two additional cashiers and a more open cafeteria designed to elicit a college feel. There are six themed lines and new equipment.
“There is a bigger variety of food choices for the kids. We were able to add a salad bar, deli bar, fresh pizza and an international bar to add more variety and make this space easier and more accessible to kids and update the equipment that was failing,” said Jennifer McFarland, director of food and nutritional services.
The updates cost $900,000 and included includes new serving lines, refrigeration units, pizza ovens, milk coolers, beverage coolers and more.
The update began with two weeks of school left in May because McFarland said she wanted the students have a brand new cafeteria for the start of the school year. CHS created an alternate serving area in addition to the other two cafeterias, Greyhound Station and the Freshman Center, during the updates.
“We kept finding parts or lines that needed replaced because of the age. We have so many students frequenting that space every day, and it was a high priority,” McFarland said. “We’re so thankful that the kids were great, we wanted to make sure it was ready for the start of the year.”