Northglenn High cafeteria to get new look over Summer 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 7:00am

Renovation will accompany transition to National School Lunch Program

There are big changes headed to the Northglenn High School (NGHS) cafeteria this summer, both in terms of look and food service.

The kitchen and cafeteria will undergo more than $1 million in renovations as part of the 2016 Bond Program. The planned improvements have been a long-envisioned collaborative planning process between the Five Star Schools Nutrition Services Department and the Northglenn High School administrative leadership team to transition the school from a DECA-run program to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.  

But, until the passage of the bond in November 2016, there wasn't the necessary funding to make the changes happen. Now, thanks to community support of the bond, the improvements will take place this summer. In fact, the school year ended a few days earlier (May 18) so construction crews could get a jump start on the work.

Find out about more bond work happening in Summer 2018

Some of the improvements will go largely unnoticed to students and staff such as critical plumbing repairs that will require the removal and replacement of much of the kitchen's concrete floor. While those are critical repairs for the kitchen to function properly, it is the aesthetic changes and new food service options that excite Molly Brandt, Director of Adams 12 Five Star Schools Nutrition and Base programs. Among those improvements will be an expansion of the kitchen area to accommodate three serving lines, the inclusion of natural light through skylights and fresh paint to brighten the dreary space and the repurposing of a former coffee bar into additional cafeteria seating.

Brandt explained that, in addition to bringing NGHS under the umbrella of the National School Lunch Program, the goal for the renovation is three fold: expand the food options, change the service style, and elevate the entire dining experience.

Brandt is honest about the challenges of competing with off-campus fast food spots for students' attention and, in reality, with no way to accommodate all of the school's 1,900-plus students in the cafeteria, off-campus lunch attrition is a necessity. The hope is that an expanded lunch program with multiple attractive, healthy options for students along with a la carte beverage and snack options will serve the student population well.

"Proper nutrition and access to meal service on campus is an important part of any student's academic success,” Brandt said. “We look forward to serving the students of Northglenn High School."

The hope is that, when the program is successful, it can be expanded to include a Breakfast After the Bell program.

NGHS will be the first of two high school cafeterias to undergo a similar transition and renovation. The Thornton High School cafeteria will also get a new look in Summer 2019 as part of their bond improvement work.

The Nutrition Services Department will showcase the renovated Northglenn High School cafeteria during its annual Taste of Adams 12 event from 4 to 7 p.m., Sept. 20, at the school. Look for more details soon.