Texas schools get major cafeteria upgrades with bond

Renovations will take campuses from open lunch to closed.

Jan. 7—How do you remodel a school cafeteria while still serving students five days a week? That’s the question Marty Walters has had to face since work began on enlarging the cafeterias at Coronado and Monterey high schools in Calif.

“It’s been a challenge to do this while kids are in school and to keep serving,” said Walters, the manager for the Lubbock Independent School District’s $198 million bond, which voters approved in 2010.

The cafeteria expansions are a key part of the bond’s $25 million safety and security budget. The 2020 Committee that developed the priorities for the bond included transforming the 29,000-student district’s four high schools from “open campuses” that allowed students to leave for lunch to “closed campuses,” where the majority of students will stay on campus for lunch.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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