ROCK FALLS — Workers from Gehrke Construction in DeKalb continued their efforts Wednesday to renovate the kitchen and cafeteria located within the basement at Rock Falls High School.
It’s one of two projects going on at the high school. The projects started in May with the goal of completing them as close to the start of the 2022-23 school year as possible.
The installation of modern heat, air conditioning and venting in the kitchen and cafeteria is being partially paid for by $1.2 million in federal COVID-19 recovery grant funds.
The other project, being implemented by Loescher of Sterling, is the $800,000 renovation at Tabor Gymnasium that also includes new HVAC units.
The kitchen project required the dismantling and removal of all cooking and cold storage units, including the stainless steel serving lines, to meet federal standards.
The high school’s facilities director, Bryan Berogan, had said before the renovation the kitchen was largely unchanged since the 1970s.
Much of the work being performed by Gehrke required the compete installation of flooring on Monday.
Members of the school’s board of education reviewed the progress of the work when it met on July 20. At that time, Berogan informed the board that the two refrigerators had yet to arrive, but 90% of the other kitchen equipment was on hand and ready to be installed.
Berogan said once the new heat and air conditioning units are installed in both the kitchen and gymnasium, they can’t operate until the manufacturers schedule certified technicians to implement the computerized startup process.
Because the manufacturers have a shortage of personnel stemming from the pandemic, he’s been told these arrangements sometimes take two to three weeks to schedule.
Rock Falls is preparing to start the school year without an operating kitchen, planning to serve cold lunches.
Source: The Daily Chronicle