MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Students at Central School came back from holiday break to some new renovations.
After months of construction, much of a $6 million renovation project is complete.
"This school year we have been in the process of building a new lunchroom and adding on to the car rider line," Principal Alex Hughes said.
Hughes said they needed the changes to keep up with growth,
"Our school has grown consistently in the last four or five years, and I noticed this morning there were already several new students waiting to register," he said.
He said the changes should also save time. Four more cars can now fit in each drop of rotation of the car rider line. On the first day of operation, Hughes said the new line closed up 10 minutes quicker than normal.
He said school staff anticipates lunchtime being shortened by about an hour thanks to the new cafeteria. Previously, the school had to begin serving lunch at 10:30 a.m. Now they said they can start later.
On Monday students were happy to see the changes. Fifth-grader Clayton Everett said the cafeteria looked great.
"I was really excited because when I came in it was just big," Everett said.
The new lunchroom is almost twice as big and it can seat 360 students at a time. The cafeteria staff is also very happy about the new additions, though they said it may take some time to adjust.
"It's a little different," said lunchroom manager Lynn Hudson. "It's a lot bigger than we are used to so that is a bit of an adjustment, but I think we'll all enjoy it once we get the hang of everything."
The kitchen now has a new Combi oven, food warmers, cold pass-throughs to store chilled food, two new serving lines, and new merchandise carriers. The cafeteria also has several large fans to cool things down during the summer months.
Another benefit of the new cafeteria is the school is going to be able to ditch the old Styrofoam trays and replace them with new reusable plastic trays.
The old cafeteria will soon get a new life too, as additional classrooms.