- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Bethel Region High School will receive $7 million in state funding for a new kitchen and cafeteria.

The school currently does not have a cafeteria, at lunch the gym is split in half so some students can eat while others have class, KYUK-AM reported (http://bit.ly/297Uvrx). Other students wander the school’s halls during their lunch hour.

“But the trouble is the gym at BRHS is used from 6 p.m. in the morning until 8 p.m. at night, including lunch time,” said Susan Murphy, who chairs the Lower Kuskokwim School Board.

Murphy said the biggest reason for the new project is to consolidate all the different kitchens the district is currently using. By not having a central kitchen, the district needs to staff and stock a variety of different locations.

“You have to have store rooms at each of the facilities. You have to have cooks at each of the facilities. It’s much cheaper to have one central kitchen, with one storage area, where all the meals are prepared and then sent out,” said Murphy.

An additional problem is that some of those kitchens may not be available for the district to use for much longer, Murphy said.

“We are now leasing space from BNC for our immersion school Ayaprun. And that lease includes the lease of the kitchen in the BNC building,” she said. “However, when that lease is up, we won’t have access to that kitchen anymore. And we need a kitchen.”

Murphy said the construction of the building likely won’t happen until next year.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org

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