“We’ll update the atmosphere in the cafeteria,” said Tonya Grier, Child Nutrition Program Director. “As a federal program we are regulated to the enth degree on what we can serve on terms of the food but we wanted to make the atmosphere in the cafeteria more user friendly and more up to date for the kids benefit."
The plan started in 2009 when Northview and Dothan High School renovated their cafeterias. The school system is working their way down to elementary schools and plan to have all the cafeterias renovated in the next 10 years.
The kitchen appliances are regularly updated but now it’s time to give a face lift to the exterior.
“It'll be a walk up style just like you see in the mall. They'll walk up to the serving lines just like in a mall and check out with a cashier right there. Bright signs, lights everything. We're also changing seating, going from straight long tables; we're doing different shapes and different heights to make it more appealing,” said Grier.
The renovation budget is being provided by the Child Nutrition Program. Around $400,000 was spent on each high school update and $250,000 has been budgeted for each middle school.
“I think they're going to be amazed, I think they're going to be appreciative and show some pride in knowing that they have a cafeteria that they can be proud of,” said Girard Principal Charles Corbitt. “It’s just going to be a good feeling, you know, when it comes to the culture and climate of the school."
Due to monetary constraints Grier says it may be another few years before they can star on the next set of schools.