The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 26, 2013

East Park readies colorful cafeteria

DANVILLE — When students return to East Park Elementary School after winter break, they will be treated to a brand new dining area where they will eat breakfast and lunch.

Colorful posters promoting physical activity and nutritious food choices and painted positive messages on the walls brighten up the new cafeteria that boasts a seating capacity of 448 students as well as a new, state-of-the-art kitchen.

“With this being an elementary school, we decided to put up positive messages about manners and respect besides nutritional information,” Food Service Director Greg Lazzell said. “We’re trying to promote eating healthier items.”

East Park — which was originally built as a junior high school in 1961 and used as a middle school until 1987 — is the third and final school to be improved in District 118’s three-year, $30 million renovation project. During the last three years, South View and North Ridge middle schools also have been renovated.

The school’s renovations began earlier in the year, with the cafeteria being slated to be finished last. Students have been eating their meals in one of three commons areas in the school, which tended to be disruptive to surrounding classrooms.

“This was the same layout as the middle schools. They served the meals in three commons areas,” Lazzell said. “It made us inefficient and it was disruptive being in the commons areas.”

When students enter the spacious dining area trimmed in gray and blue, they will pass The Healthy Link, an information center on a wall where they can view a couple of the 40 different posters in flip-art frames that depict anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables conveying a variety of messages about nutrition and physical activity.

The state-of-the-art kitchen features the latest kitchen equipment that will ensure the children’s meals are as fresh and as high quality as possible, Lazzell said.

The combi-ovens in the new kitchen are “a steamer and oven combined,” Lazzell explained. The oven steams the food initially and then blasts it with heat to replicate frying.

“It will replicate frying something without deep frying it,” he said. “We installed them at the middle schools, and we’re very pleased with them.”

East Park’s kitchen also has a brand new walk-in cooler and a brand new walk-in freezer that actually are separate self-contained units that were brought in and attached to openings on the outside of the school on Colfax Street.

Having the cooler and freezer units attached to the outside of the school opened up more space inside the kitchen and the cafeteria.

“They save so much square footage inside the kitchen,” Lazzell said.

A new conveyor dishwasher heats water up to 180 degrees to sanitize the dishes, he said.

The dry storage area in the kitchen is furnished with racks and portable canned goods storage units on wheels for easier access to ingredients.

A pass-through cooler and a pass-through holding oven between the kitchen and the serving area ensures hot foods stay hot and cold foods stay cold.

“We want to make sure the kids are served better quality meals and food that’s fresher,” Lazzell said. “This new kitchen will allow food service to serve the kids better quality meals.”

The new cafeteria is equipped with a pull-down screen and a projector so the area can also be used as a multipurpose room.

“The biggest thing is we have a cafeteria — a central area — that’s away from the classrooms,” he said.

East Park Principal Eliza Brooks said students took a tour of the new cafeteria to see how breakfast and lunch would be served before school was dismissed for winter break, but she is eager for the children to be able to use the cafeteria every day.

“It will be a better experience for the kids in the beautiful dining room,” she said. “The kids deserve a place where they can talk freely and where they can interact with their peers.

“Having that all in one area is nice,” Brooks added. “We’ll have an area for other opportunities, too.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • D118 OKs uniform dress code DANVILLE -- Next school year will usher in a new way of dressing for school for most of Danville District 118's students. School board members voted 4-3 Wednesday night to implement districtwide a uniform standard of dress for all students in grades

    April 24, 2014

  • Alderman organizes diversity talk DANVILLE - Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis has helped organize a diversity conference. Diversity is the state of having people who are of different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization, according to a press release. Davis, in a

    April 24, 2014

  • Day care closes for church growth DANVILLE - Growth at Second Church of Christ is causing the closure of a day care that sees 95 children daily. A letter given to parents and published in the Commercial-News this week announced the upcoming closure of the Two by Two Christian Early E

    April 24, 2014

  • CASA planning racy event for fundraiser DANVILLE -- A day at the horse races is the theme for a fundraiser and auction for the local Court Appointed Special Advocates. This is the third year for the CASA's Night at the Races and Hometown Celebrity Auction, scheduled for Friday at the Knigh

    April 24, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Tuesday, 8:43-8:55 a.m. -- A car fire at Kentucky Fried Chicken, 12 N. Bowman Ave. Tuesday, 8:54-9:09 a.m. -- A false alarm at Schlarman Academy, 1307 N. Walnut St. Tuesday, 9:51-9:58 a.m. -- A medical c

    April 24, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Monday: Battery in the 400 block of Oak Street. Fuel theft at Circle K, 121 S. Gilbert St. Fuel theft at Circle K, 121 S. Gilbert St. Property damage in the 1600 block of East Main Street. Disorderly con

    April 24, 2014

  • Malcolm Dunn Third arrest made in shooting case DANVILLE -- City police arrested a third suspect Tuesday in connection with a triple shooting last week on Danville's east side. Malcolm Dunn, 21, of the 1000 block of Moore Street, was arrested just before 6 p.m. Tuesday as part of a traffic stop by

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • VermFestivalChorus3.jpg Doing it justice The 35-member Vermilion Festival Chorus will join voices for Mozart's "Requiem Mass in D-minor" for the first time in 15 years. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St. David Schroeder is th

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Diversity conference planned

    April 23, 2014

  • Library shows after-school film

    April 23, 2014

E-edition
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown
Must Read