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John Henry Newman Secondary School

The project:

To design and create a new dining experience for pupils to replace the tired and limited facilities that had remained largely unchanged since the 1960s. The school was built in 1967 with a dining room designed to meet the needs of around 700 pupils serviced by a typical 1960's school kitchen laid out to match the menu of those times. Today the popularity of the school means that the dining facilities have to meet the daily needs of 1350 pupils, with over 900 regularly taking lunch.

The result:

Working within the existing space, BETTAquip created a more compact, efficient kitchen better matched to today's menu needs and a healthier, more satisfying working environment for the staff. BETTAquip proposed a design that created more space in the dining room with a single servery located in what was formally part of the old kitchen. A ventilated ceiling now meets current health and safety guidelines and the floors and ceilings were completely recovered. BETTAquip added two new convection ovens that have a larger capacity and better cooking performance than the old ranges. Three fryers were taken out to create space and much of the other existing equipment is still in use but has been relocated for a more ergonomic workflow.

The response: 

School Business Manager Valerie Culpin:

"The old kitchen was looking very tired. There was no ventilation and the condition of the walls and floor raised health and safety fears. To serve all of the pupils we had to organise lunch into 3 sittings. We are serving the children very fast now and can serve all of the pupils in just 2 sittings. The new servery is colourful, clean and shiny and displays the food in a very attractive way."

School Cook Carol Middleditch:

"I used to walk miles every day around the old kitchen, now everything is close to hand. I particularly like the new ovens which are faster and cooked food looks a lot better. For example in the old ovens I had to par boil potatoes then get them into the oven before 10.30. With the new ovens I no longer need to boil the potatoes and can put them in the oven an hour later at 11.30 and still have them ready for lunch. The kitchen is also easier and quicker to clean up at the end of the day."

Head Teacher Michael Kelly:

"In conception and implementation the new facilities are quite superb. The equipment is top quality and it has been a pleasure working with the professional team of BETTAquip."