School representatives, community members and others celebrate the official opening of the Sequim School District’s new central kitchen with a ribbon-cutting. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

School representatives, community members and others celebrate the official opening of the Sequim School District’s new central kitchen with a ribbon-cutting. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim School District unveils new central kitchen

SEQUIM — The Sequim School District’s new central kitchen is ready to feed students.

School representatives and officials Tuesday celebrated the official opening of the district’s central kitchen — the culminating piece of a three-year, $5.75 million capital project levy that voters approved in 2017.

The levy paid for demolition of unused portions of the Sequim Community School and rebuilt the central kitchen facility on the same property.

Meredith Arseneau, food services director for Sodexo, said he expects the kitchen to make about 600 lunches and 300 breakfasts daily for Sequim’s elementary schools and to support Sequim middle and Sequim high schools with additional meals as needed.

Modern equipment

The 4,080-square-foot commercial kitchen comes with modern equipment, a new freezer and cooler space configuration.

Sequim Schools Superintendent Gary Neal thanked many groups for their efforts to get the building constructed, from community members to school facility and planning committees created in 2008 and 2013, to school board directors.

“Here … we had a 72,000-square-foot decommissioned building. Along with that was an obsolete kitchen,” Neal said.

“Today we have a 21st-century, state-of-the-art kitchen.”

Old kitchen demolished

Vanir Construction Management Inc. oversaw the central kitchen project along with demolition of the unused 1950s portion of the community school.

Bernie O’Donnell, vice president/Northwest area manager for Vanir, said the Sequim kitchen provides an asset to the community along with the school district.

“It took us longer [to complete] than a remodel … but we did it within the existing budget,” he said.

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Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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