BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Soon, Bay High School will finally have a cafeteria that can prepare and serve meals on campus. The kitchen hasn't been in service since Katrina, so students have been eating at the middle school or had food delivered to the high school.
This month, crews are tearing up the old cafeteria, so they can install state-of-the-art cooking equipment.
"We're bringing in combo-ovens, refrigeration units that encompass their own hard drives for record keeping and a conveyer broiler, so we can have flamed broiled burgers, sandwiches every single day," said Brad Barlow, FEMA Projects Director for the Bay-Waveland School District.
The cafeteria is one of four construction projects underway this summer in the Bay-Waveland School District. The high school gym, auditorium and fine arts building took quite a beating from Katrina debris. New siding is being installed, along with a new drainage system.
Two wings at the high school and Bay-Waveland Middle School are also getting new roofs. Plus, all the doors and windows at both buildings and at Waveland Elementary are being replaced with ones that are energy-efficient and shatter resistant.
"We had to work through FEMA to get the projects funded. Now they've all been approved. They went out for bid, and they're lengthy processes," said Dr. Rebecca Ladner, Bay-Waveland Schools Superintendent.
After six years of waiting, district leaders are relieved that these post-Katrina projects are finally getting started.
"I feel great about it. I think it's a great momentum for the district," said Ladner. "We are excited to see these projects coming to a conclusion."
"It means that we're finally able to get closer to closing that chapter in our lives called Katrina and have decent state-of-the-art facilities throughout the district," said Barlow.
All the projects are scheduled to wrap-up by December. The $6.5 million facelift is being funded by FEMA.
The new cafeteria at Bay High should be up and running in January. In the meantime, students will eat their meals in the classrooms, courtyard or in designated areas on campus.