Culinary arts annex approved for ECHS

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The infrastructure of a new culinary arts building will soon be constructed on the campus of Escambia County High School in Atmore, after the Escambia County Board of Education approved to award the bid to Diversified General Contractors in the amount of $220,000.

“The bids were certified by the architect and we had three general contractors to place bids on this,” Superintendent John Knott said. “Diversified General Contractors, from Andalusia, was the low bid and we feel comfortable with that. We had originally estimated that this would come in around $200,000.
They came in a little higher. I have talked with Mrs. Julie Madden and we are going to move some funds around and we will use our capital funds to fund this project.”

Knott said the culinary arts program began this past year as a pre-program and has over 30 students currently enrolled in it.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We hired an instructor and started the course work with around 35 students currently enrolled in the program,” Knott said. “We started with basic course work of the food preparation institute this year.”

The project, which will cover almost 4,000 square feet with a dining room, was modeled after some other local schools that already have an established program.

“The facility will be at Escambia County High School in Atmore,” Knott said. “The one at LBW in Andalusia is about half the size of what we will have. Ours will be modeled like LBW and some of the other Culinary Arts that are in Baldwin County. Gulf Shores has an excellent facility at their school.”

Knott said he expects classes to move into the new facility in the fall.

“It will include a full kitchen setup, preparation area, and all of the equipment needed just like you would have in a commercial kitchen,” he said. “The facility will also have a dining room facility. As it progresses and the students learn to prepare meals, we will do like other area schools in the culinary arts. We will open it up and host events for clubs and for the community.”

Knott said the program would only be available to ECHS students at this time.

“As we develop the program there may be other options available,” he said.