As a special facility that’s part of Greenville County Schools, Roper Mountain Science Center (RMSC) in Greenville, S.C., provides local students and residents with hands-on learning experiences.
The center is also a popular field trip destination, and in the past, the school district’s nutrition team would send kids to RMSC with bagged lunches to enjoy.
Recently, however, RMSC completed its new Environmental Science and Sustainability facility, which includes a cafeteria and kitchen managed by school foodservice staff. Now, students visiting the center will be able to eat lunch prepared right on site.
Here’s a peek at the new space.
A menu centered around portability
At 3,000 square feet, the facility’s kitchen is a smaller version of the kitchens found throughout the district and includes equipment such as double-decker ovens, prep tables and walk-ins.
RMSC will also have its own menu, separate from the three-week rotating menu served at the other district cafeterias.
“It's going to be unique in that we're going to see different children every day,” says Food Service Director Joe Urban. “And so we're not going to really have the need for a three-week rotating menu.”
Students visiting the center will be able to enjoy a variety of handheld options, such as hot and cold sandwiches, salads and other vegetarian entrees.
A unique partnership
One unique aspect of the new facility will be the partnership between the nutrition services department and the special education department.
Each quarter, six to nine special education students will work alongside and learn from cafeteria staff at Roper Mountain. Once they complete the 9-week course, they will receive an employability credential certificate to aid them in job hunting after they graduate.
The partnership has been in the works for a couple of years, says Urban, and it is one of his favorite parts about the new facility.
“The most exciting thing is the opportunity to provide students with the skills they need,” he says. “For me, that's by far the most exciting part of it.”
A summer sneak peek
Students and their families can currently check out the new cafeteria since it is one of the district’s summer feeding sites.
Kids whose families are visiting RMSC will be able receive free lunch. For those who want don’t want to pay admission, the foodservice team has set up a food truck outside in the parking lot, which is providing free meals to anyone under 18.