Construction of the new $1 million commercial kitchen at Waitsfield Elementary School is on target to be completed prior to the start of the 2023-2024 school year at the end of the month. As of last week, Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) facilities director Ray Daigle said, “It's going great. The project is scheduled for substantial completion on August 18, 2023. They have started moving in the equipment and are working on the finish details. We should have the certificate of occupancy on August 24.”
HUUSD finance director Lisa Estler added, “We are on schedule. Our walk through is scheduled with the vendor on August 11, 2023. Punch list items if any, will be addressed the week after the walk through.”
The new kitchen comes with a price tag of $1,045,849 from the district’s maintenance reserve fund. The school board approved the project in March. Waitsfield Elementary School is the only school in the district without a commercial kitchen. Previously, Waitsfield students and staff meals were prepared at Fayston Elementary School and transported to Waitsfield. The new kitchen will allow meal prep and cooking at both schools. Some meals will be prepared at Waitsfield and transported to Fayston uncooked. HUUSD food service co-director Erika Dolan said in June that the change will not be a flip flop of the two kitchens. An additional food service worker may need to be hired in the future but is not happening at this time. “Food service staff needs at least one full year operating in this manner,” food service co-director Paul Morris said in June.
If all continues to go to plan, Waitsfield students and staff will be able to enjoy hot meals from their new kitchen at the start of the school year on August 28, 2023.