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Mill Street cafeteria coming down home stretch
Mill Street School's new cafeteria is going up fast.
Parents, community members and staff toured the new building on Wednesday along with the Orland Unified School District board during a special meeting at the school.
The 4,500-square-foot structure replaces a 1950's-era building that housed the school's old cafeteria.
Interior work is still in progress, but Board Member Connie Carter stepped inside the new walk-in freezer that will hold breakfast and lunch items in the near future.
Carter retired from the district in June as its food service director and is well aware of the need for an updated cafeteria. She was elected to the board in November.
The building also will double as a multi-purpose center where ball games and assemblies can be hosted as well, Superintendent Chris von Kleist said.
"I'm excited about it," parent Shannon Ovard said. "I like the high ceiling and access to projectors. It will allow assemblies at higher capacities."
Mill Street teacher Deborah Burfeind also is anticipating the building's completion in May.
"I think it's great," Burfeind said. "I am looking forward to the kids all having lunch at the same time."
Right now, students in the kindergarten through second grade school must eat in two shifts, she said.
The new cafeteria space will seat 200 children and provide assembly space for 500, von Kleist added.
He said the old cafeteria and classroom building had 3,200 square-feet with 2,600 square feet of lunch seating area. The new lunch area will have 3,850 square feet.
Prior to the tour, von Kleist and the board discussed Orland Unified's various building projects that have occurred since 2006.
At Mill Street School, $3.7 million in improvements have been made with a combination of state school improvement money and funding from the district's Measure K school $21.9 million construction bond approved by OUSD voters in February 2008 for.
Beside the cafeteria/multipurpose room, estimated to cost $2.9 million, the school has had new playground equipment and surfacing installed, fencing done around the perimeter and the heating and air-conditioning system replacement. Projectors, new computers for teacher workstations, cameras and copy machines also have been purchased for the school.
A new modular classroom building also will go up on the south side of the cafeteria that will be separate from it, and a new parking area and drive through is to go in front of the cafeteria building as well.
The modular building will be 1,520 square feet larger than the state-required minimum of 900 square feet for a kindergarten classroom, von Kleist said.
However, it is not as large overall as the old classroom that had been attached to the old cafeteria.
Some space was lost because four new restrooms had to be added, including two for children and two for adults, he said.
Von Kleist had District Business Manager Laura Holderfield outline the other projects completed throughout the district.
Overall, $31.6 million in construction and related revenues have been generated for the district in the last seven years, she said.
Fairview School has made $768,500 in improvements during this span, and had other areas remodeled or fixed during earlier years, officials said.
C.K. Price Middle School most recently completed its new 10,00- square-foot media and science center last fall for $4.9 million.
Its new gymnasium, cafeteria and parking lot were completed a year or two before for $4.3 million, again with a mix of state and Measure K money.
All told, C.K. Price has had $9.5 million in infrastructure improvements, Holderfield said.Orland High School tops the list with $11.4 million spent on a variety of projects including eight new modular classrooms that replaced old portables, its $5.2 million, two-story media/science center, renovated sports complex and more.
The North Valley High School complex received $1.2 million in upgrades that include a new multi-use room and classrooms, new agriculture barn for FFA students, new soccer and baseball fields, and road.
Finally, OUSD's districtwide improvements include two new classrooms for special programs, new computer server network, some new buses and seat belt installation in buses for about $1 million.
Von Kleist said about $15.9 million in Measure K bonds have been spent districtwide, but $6 million remain for projects in years to come.
He said Orland Unified was "fortunate" because its bonds allowed the district to obtain state money for modernization projects because they were viewed as "matching" funds — even though they were not all spent. Many other districts do not have that option, he said.