Board OKs work to bring kitchen up to code

PROSPECT — The kitchen at Long River Middle School needs a few improvements, which add up to tens of thousands of dollars, to be brought up to code.

Two new hand-washing sinks as well as new walk-in freezer and walk-in cooler units have to be installed in the kitchen.

The Region 16 Board of Education, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, last week approved transferring $50,000 from within the 2015-16 school budget to cover the work.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the work is mandated by the Chesprocott Health District to meet code.

“This wasn’t an option,” Yamin told the board.

There is currently one designated hand-washing sink in the kitchen. However, new code requires hand-washing stations near where food is served and prepared.

“In the past you only needed one hand-wash station, but that requirement changed,” Chesprocott Director of Health Maura Esposito said.

Hand-washing sinks will be installed near the deli and on the other side of kitchen where food is also served and prepared.

There is rust on the shelves in one of the current walk-in units and one of the doors has to be kept closed with a wooden wedge, Yamin said. New, larger units will be purchased and installed.

Yamin said in order to install the new units and sinks, new drains and pipes will have to be installed.

The $50,000 transferred is expected to cover the cost of the work. Once Chesprocott approves the district’s plans, officials will go out to bid on the work and the new freezer and cooler.

Director of Food Services Victoria Biello has applied for a $20,000 state grant in the hopes of offsetting the cost of the project.

The $50,000 transferred for the project was part of $98,000 in transfers approved by the board. The board also OK’d transferring $28,000 for safety repairs of the playsets at Laurel Ledge Elementary School and $20,000 for new flooring, cabinets and tables in the media center at Laurel Ledge.

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