When students at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel, Calif., went to lunch on Feb. 2, they were able to see their new two-story cafeteria for the first time. Students were served meals from the primary kitchen on the first level that day, and the second story was officially opened on Feb. 6.
After an eight-month renovation, St. Anne Headmaster Randy Adams says students were excited to see the new facility, which at 9,000 square feet is double the size of the former dining space.
“I went into the lunch room and it was quiet. The kids respected that it’s a new, clean facility and they want to keep it that way,” he says. “As I was walking, I asked the students, “What do you think of the new room?” and they said, “It is awesome.”
Before the renovation, students ate lunch in a 4,500 square-foot patio that was enclosed by a plastic vinyl covering. Portable heaters were brought in during colder weather.
“It would get very noisy in there,” Adams says. “It just wasn’t a really nice facility.”
The second floor of the new space includes a multi-purpose room with two 90-inch flat-screen TVs and an area where students who receive a pre-ordered lunch can pick up their lunch and order a la carte items, such as bottled water or fruit, from a satellite serving area that includes hot boxes and a POS system.
The ground floor contains the main kitchen, where St. Anne School’s foodservice provider, Sapphire at School, can provide multiple entrée options for 875 students and staff. The remodel also expanded the amount of storage space that Sapphire at School can use and increased the number of POS lines from three to five, which will allow students to move through the servery more quickly, says Sapphire at School’s owner, Chef Azmin Ghahreman.
Before the remodel, it could take students at the end of a service line about 10 minutes to receive and pay for their lunch, but the additional POS stations could help students move through the line up to 40 percent faster, Ghahreman says.
The main floor also has hydration stations where students can fill up water bottles. The space also features 60-inch flat-screen TVs that display menu items so students can have an idea of what they would like to order before they reach the service window. Daily menu items are also posted online for parents and students to view.
The remodeled lunchroom cost $2.3 million. St. Anne School has been raising money since 2010 to pay for the project.