Culinary program upgrades planned at MCC
- Photos (1)
A look at the proposed new culinary lab at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. The college approved a $3.5 million project to build the lab and remodel other features of Building B.
McHenry County College RENDERING
McHenry County College has big plans for its culinary management program.
An estimated two-year, $3.5 million project to build a new culinary lab and update the kitchen was approved by the college's board of trustees last week, MCC President Vicky Smith said. Plans also include a remodeled food service area, an expanded and remodeled commons area and a reconfigured main entrance, all in Building B on the college's Crystal Lake campus.
The college plans to launch its culinary management associate degree program in the fall, Smith said.
The idea was first discussed before the launch of the culinary management program, which has up to 150 students from the original 30 or so, she said. "The board went into it two years ago knowing they'd need some sort of lab facility to handle the growth," Smith said.
Currently, the program uses the kitchen for part of class and to prepare food for Sláinte, the student-operated restaurant launched in February. The new lab will have 16 cooking stations, and will be enclosed by glass, so onlookers can observe classes, Smith said.
The board hopes to select an architectural firm by May, and seek bids in October in order to start construction in December and wrap up in December 2013, Smith said. Construction will only take place in December and January, and in summer when students are not using the affected areas, she said.
Under the plan's first phase, to be finished by next year, the Belly of the Whale student lounge will be moved to make space for the culinary lab. The building's entrance will be redone, and the commons area will be remodeled, its decorative white columns removed to gain space, Smith said.
Plans might include a movable glass wall between the commons area and the cafeteria, in order to create a larger space for evening community events, she said.
The kitchen's remodeling would be the second phase, starting in December and lasting two years. The third phase would start in summer 2012 and consist of remodeling the food serving area, she said.
The project will be funded by the operations and maintenance restricted budget. Its balance on June 30 at the end of the current fiscal year is expected to be $10.2 million, Smith said.
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