Lufkin ISD school board to consider new updates for HS cafeteria

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 8:48 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The outdated layout of Lufkin High School’s cafeteria serving lines is causing disruption and shortening students’ lunch period.

“How can we design this space to be the most efficient, where we get kids in, and get them fed, and taken care of?” asked Lufkin ISD Nutrition Services Director Amanda Calk. She first brought the cafeteria’s need for renovations to the school board in 2019.

Calk said the current serving line layout was designed to feed 800 students during the ‘90s. Today, they are serving 1,200 students a day.

“It’s supposed to mimic a food court. Well, that creates a lot of chaos in this area when we have a lot of kids in here trying to get to these lines, and get their meals, and get to the cash register, and get out there to have enough time to eat lunch,” said Calk.

The original project was to reconstruct the entire serving area, but once the pandemic hit, the project was paused. We had a pretty major renovation to take place: moving walls, tearing walls down,” said Calk.

Now inflation is one more setback they have to deal with. Calk said it would cost $1.5 million, so she went back to the drawing board, working with architects to scale down the project, which brought the cost down to an estimated $800,000.

They will keep the same layout but add updates to their serving areas, and “we’ll also have more guard rails as well because that will help control the flow of traffic,” said Calk.

The Lufkin School Board will meet Thursday. They are expected to decide on a contractor for the project, paid using student nutrition funds.