CEDAR FALLS — The process of decentralizing Cedar Falls Community Schools’ elementary meal preparation entered its final phase Monday.
The Board of Education approved two contracts totaling $541,779 for remodeling of the kitchen at Cedar Heights Elementary School and the purchase of equipment. The improvements will impact food production, dish washing and serving lines.
Failor-Hurley Construction of Waterloo was awarded a $318,300 contract for renovations, which was the lowest of two bids. Boelter LLC of Mitchellville, the lowest of three bidders, was awarded a $222,979 contract to supply and install equipment.
“This is the last of the elementary kitchens,” said Denelle Gonnerman, the district’s chief financial officer. “Both (contractors) have completed exceptional work through the district. We’ve worked with them previously in past projects with different elementaries” on kitchen improvements.
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Before the process started with renovation work and equipment upgrades in the summer of 2020, meals were made at the high school or Peet Junior High with food transported to each of six elementary buildings. Bess Streeter Aldrich Elementary School opened in 2018 with the upgraded kitchen.
Gonnerman detailed new equipment including a refrigerator, freezer, dishwashing machine, garbage disposal, combi oven, exhaust hood and fire protection system. There will also be a dish table with a pot and pan sink as well as a mobile warming cabinet and a spaces created to place hot and cold food. “This is just a minimal list of what is actually involved with that equipment,” she said.
She noted that there is also a contingency fund set at “about 20%” of contract amounts, or approximately $107,000, to cover any unexpected costs. In addition, design fees are estimated at $68,525.
Contract awards came in very close to estimates of $315,145 for renovation work and $220,725 for equipment costs.
“This was budgeted through our (physical plant and equipment levy) as well as our nutrition program,” said Gonnerman. Work would begin the week of June 6 and be completed by Aug. 12.
Superintendent Andy Pattee told the board that allowing volunteers in the schools is being looked at during a Wednesday meeting of elementary principals after the practice was discontinued more than a year ago due to COVID-19 concerns. “That will be a major topic of conversation, to start that process again,” he said. “We always want to balance safety within our buildings, but it appears that we are doing extremely well and communitywide numbers are trending, I think, in a positive direction.”
- The board set a public hearing for its March 22 meeting on the 2022-23 school year calendar. Classes would start Aug. 23, the earliest day allowed under state law, and end May 30.