SD54 is putting its money where its mouth is.
At their last board meeting, board members approved a resolution to allocate up to $700,000 from the district surplus toward a new food and apprenticeship preparation facility at Smithers Secondary School.
Secretary-Treasurer Dave Margerm said this has been in the works for at least two years and will be an upgrade to the current facility at SSS.
“There is one room dedicated to the foods programs,” he said. “We’d like to renovate it and expand it so we can run the regular school’s food program and new cook apprenticeship programs through it at the same time.”
He added the regular foods program is very well received at SSS.
“The classes run pretty much all year and they are popular classes. We need to upgrade our facility. It is an important area to upgrade but at the same time we’d like to upgrade it to a professional cooking program level so we can train apprenticeships and graduates in cooking programs and chef programs in addition to our regular school program. That is what is generating a lot of cost.”
The hope is to start this summer but the plan is conditional on final pricing.
“We just finished a starting plan, what it might look like, engineered drawings and architect drawings, then we have to cost it,” added Margerm. “If it is within range of a budget we might be able to start this summer otherwise we will have to wait another year to accumulate more money.”
Margerm said this facility will be a welcome upgrade.
“We are just hoping it will go through in order to provide students with employable skills. It would be great if they could come out with great chefing or cooking certifications.”