Friday, June 22, 2018
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School lunch on menu

Stakeholders discuss cafeteria expansion.

Expansion of the school cafeteria has moved from the drawing board to an agenda item.

At a Stakeholder meeting March 2, Gothenburg Public School superintendent Mike Teahon said the school board will decide whether or not to go out for bids on March 14.

“The plan is still in the draft stage but we hope to approve it at the school board meeting,” Teahon said. “If we do it, we’ll do it this summer.”

Conceptually, he said the design will increase dining space in the Community Building from approximately 3,600 to 6,500 square feet.

School officials have already asked DLR Group of Omaha to design a plan to increase dining space, add a commons area and move the kitchen to the south part of the building.

Within the design, Teahon told Stakeholders that officials want students to have enough time to eat, space to dine with four—instead of two—serving lines and healthier choices and quality of food.

Part of the school’s special building fund, now at $1 million, will be used to pay for the project.

Even though school districts across the state are being asked to tighten spending because of the state budget shortfall, the superintendent pointed out the district has saved for the cafeteria expansion project for several years.

“We long-term everything,” he said about how school board members plan short- and long-term projects for the district to remain proactive.

In a draft shared with Stakeholders, the plan calls for four serving lines to potentially different kinds of food including Southwest, American, Italian and speciality fare.

Food service manager Joni Jacobsen told the group how the district serves breakfast, brunch and lunch to students who want it.

She noted that Gothenburg is the only school in the state that delivers mid-morning brunch to students.

Portions are controlled as is nutritional value, she said, according to federal guidelines.

Jacobsen said a school wellness policy explains how schools can’t sell candy bars or pop a half hour before and after or during breakfast and lunch—a move started by First Lady Michelle Obama to combat juvenile obesity.

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