The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


14 August 2012

School District 5’s funky catering Kitchen

Ever wonder what the galley looks like on a tramp steamer that’s seen better days? A tour of the School District 5 catering kitchen at Flathead High School provides the answer:

  • Cramped and crowded.
  • Cracked concrete, antique plumbing, and drains that back water.
  • Equipment leaking water and staining floors.
  • An inefficient layout.
  • A narrow, steep entrance that’s dangerous for loading and unloading supplies and meals.

During inspections by the Flathead County Health Department, the district gets gigged for facility and equipment defects.

Part of the school district’s $3.4 million elementary school bond (the bond may be lowered to $2.9 million) that goes to the voters in early September includes $1.3 million for a new catering kitchen just south of the Kalispell Middle School. Presumably the new kitchen will include a work floor level loading dock.

Below, you’ll find some images of the current kitchen that I made last week with the help of Mike Kofford, the district’s outreach coordinator (PR officer), who not only walked me through the kitchen but served as a 6-foot model to provide scale. He’s not smiling, and I don’t blame him. (Disclosure: I gave the district an unlimited license to the images.)

I’m convinced a new kitchen is needed. I’m not yet convinced it’s needed now, but I’m deferring my decision until after Labor Day.

Meanwhile, here’s where they prepare the food that your children are served: