Students at Queen Elizabeth II High School will enjoy an even greater choice of healthy meals in a less rushed environment if Tynwald gives the go-ahead for a new kitchen and servery and enlarged dining facilities.
The kitchen and dining room at the 35-year-old school were designed for a roll of 450 to 500 students but there are now 880, the majority of whom eat school meals.
Cold dining facilities created within a multi-purpose area of the Deans Building, which was added 2008, relieved some of the pressure. However, the main dining room needs enlarging, in keeping with the rise in student numbers, said Richard Collister, Director of Estates with the Department of Education and Children.
Space for students to socialise is also lacking and improved dining facilities, as part of this scheme, would address this deficiency.
The new dining room would accommodate 222 students whereas the existing one holds 128, Mr Collister said, with a new servery permitting two direction flows.
The kitchen has seen little modernisation in 35 years and there’s a need to bring the fabric and equipment up to current-day standards, Mr Collister continued.
‘Improved facilities would allow us to use an increased range of fresh and locally sourced products, promoting even greater awareness of healthier options among students.’
Staff changing areas, a plant room, and new space for the caretakers, who would be displaced by the work, also feature in the plans.
Tynwald has already approved expenditure of £77,900 to get the project to this stage. Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, will this month ask the Court for £756,800 to proceed with the works.
If approval is obtained, McArd Contractors Ltd would start work immediately and – temporarily halting work during the summer 2015 exam period – would have the project finished in time for the start of the 2015/16 academic year.