Building Underway for $21 Million Culinary and Nutrition Center Opening in January 2019
Tim Gray, food service administrator for SPS; Pat Roach, SPS Chief Financial and Operations Officer; Superintendent Daniel Warwick; Mark Jeffrey, District Manager for Sodexo; and T.J. Plante, Director of Finance for the City of Springfield.
Construction is well underway for the $21 million, 62,000 square foot culinary and nutrition center to open in January 2019. The center will be used for the daily preparation, cooking and baking of fresh foods for over 30,000 Springfield Public Schools students, and will also provide training for students and offer new employment opportunities.
Tim Gray, food service administrator for SPS, said the expansion is necessary to accommodate the district’s and Sodexo’s staunch commitment to serve nutritious meals every day for every child. In addition to providing lunch for all of Springfield’s students, Sodexo provides summer meals throughout the community and recently introduced “breakfast in the classroom,” one of the first comprehensive breakfast programs in the United States. Gray pointed to those programs along with the Farm-to-School program as examples of the need for expansion.
“We’ll have the ability to expand on every one of these programs, and others, in our new facility,” said Gray, adding that Sodexo has a 10-year agreement with Springfield Public Schools and recently won a five-year renewal. “Just imagine students having homemade muffins bursting with blueberries picked from a local farm, still warm because it was delivered to their school straight from our ovens.”
In addition to its impact on SPS, the state-of-the-art facility will create employment for 40 new positions, 300 total positions, and construction is providing many short-term jobs as the comprehensive facility is built.