CLEMMONS — Of the many changes at area schools this year, one should satisfy the stomachs of students at West Forsyth High School.
When students return to school on Monday they will see a major renovation of the cafeteria, the first in several years.
Aesthetic improvements include pendant lights, new tile, art work and seating and wood accents that add a bit of warmth to a cafeteria in need of refreshing.
The changes will include a dedicated serving line for coffee and a coffee seating area with low tables, mimicking the feel of a coffee shop, said Amanda Mendenhall, the resident district manger for Chartwells, which manages the meal program for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
Earlier this week, workers were adding some last-minute touches to the cafeteria, with the goal of finishing today. Work on the cafeteria started in mid-June, Mendenhall said.
She could not provide the cost of the project because of changes in the construction contract.
West Forsyth is serving as the pilot for the coffee area concept in the school system, Mendenhall said.
Other high schools, including Reagan, will be selling hot and iced coffee this year but those schools will not have a coffee area.
The coffee area will have a machine that can make a variety of coffee drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos, and a dedicated server. Prices for those drinks had not been set as of last week.
The coffee brand will be Community Coffee.
An agreement last school year with Krankies Coffee in Winston-Salem to serve coffee from carts in several schools, including West Forsyth, never materialized.
Yet, it was clear that students want their caffeine.
“We typically do surveys that talk about food, and coffee continually came up. It wasn’t any kind of specific drink, but that they’d like to see coffee,” Mendenhall said.
The larger cafeteria space will include areas where students can see their food being prepared.
Chartwells is also rolling out new menu items in September including broccoli ranch salad, marinated Greek vegetables and kale salad. There will also be new food under the September theme of “global street fare,” including Caribbean jerk chicken burrito bowl.
Mendenhall said the changes are an attempt to keep up with what students want.
“We look for feedback from students and administration,” she said. “If one of those items becomes popular, it’ll make it into the (menu) cycle for the remainder of the year.”
Mendenhall said she wasn’t sure when the West Forsyth cafeteria was last renovated.
“We started renovating the cafeterias at the older schools a few years ago. Carver was first, then East (Forsyth) and Glenn,” she said. “So this is one of the older ones.”
Winston Salem Journal