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BHS cafeteria expansion project on schedule

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

The expansion of the Bandera High School cafeteria continues on schedule, report BISD administrators.

Superintendent Regina Howell advised the district's board of trustees that the foundation had been poured the first week of February. "They will complete things like steps and sidewalks and then we'll wait for Spring Break [in March] for the next major step," she told the trustees at their Feb. 13 board meeting.

During Spring Break, March 12-16, the contractor will erect the metal superstructure for the addition.

The new facility will total over 10,000 square feet, with a dining area of 6,393 square feet, kitchen area of 3,371 square feet and a patio with 1,398 square feet. The addition includes an upgrade of practically everything in the cafeteria, said BHS Principal Gary Bitzkie. "We decided during the planning process to upgrade everything, the space, the equipment, the seating, the technology."


Well, yes.

"We're looking at the cafeteria as a meeting place. Groups have no place to meet at the school except for the auditorium," explained Bitzkie.

Cafeterias aren't what they used to be, he explained, "and we're planning for the future, too."

Hence, the technology - for wi-fi, communication systems and cafeteria operations.

The $1.3 million project is being funded from the district's fund balance, not a bond issue.

Cafeteria staff will have more room for food prep and storage, along with new food prep equipment.

The popular patio area with its astounding view of the hills surrounding Bandera will be preserved.

Expected completion date is sometime in August.

RVK Architects developed the design and Huser Construction is the contractor. Both have worked on previous BISD construction projects.

During the Feb. 13 board meeting, Geoff Holle, the district manager from Aramark for BISD, brought the trustees and administrators up-to-date on progress made by the
district's food service provider.

"We've met with students and administrators and toured other schools," reported Holle. "We're working on re-organizing the serving lines, improved signage and serving ware and an enhanced menu."

Holle said Aramark's aim is for a smooth transition. "There will be no interruption of service for the students," he said. May will be a key month for the change over and Holle predicted that there may be a few days in which students will have sack lunches or other simple meals.

Summer school classes will be held at Bandera Middle School to give the contractor uninterrupted time to complete the renovation.

Pictured: The foundation has been poured and the contractor is waiting for Spring Break to erect the metal framework of the expansion to the Bandera High School cafeteria.