Andrew Jackson High School
Andrew Jackson High School (AJHS) in Duval County Florida is home to 613 students and 61 faculty and staff members. Having never experienced any major renovations, the school’s cafeteria had become outdated in terms of its operational efficiency and serving capacity. The lack of updates to the cafeteria led to the school’s meal options falling out of favor with students.
With AJHS becoming a magnet school within the Duval County Public School system, it was determined that with the impending increase in students, changes to the cafeteria infrastructure would be necessary. In order to increase meal participation by both students and faculty, a more inviting atmosphere would need to be created as well as a more efficient, productive and appealing work environment for the food service staff. The school decided that these needs could be met by creating a more retail and restaurant-like environment in the cafeteria and by adding more access to serving stations to speed along service to the students.
Duval County worked with LTI who would manufacture and install the new serving counters, the food court columns and soffits. LTI also helped design and provide all the new signage and corresponding paint schemes throughout the cafeteria.
A major challenge brought on by the construction, proved to be the ease of access to food for students. With school in session while work was being completed, there was an emphasis on not disturbing the day-to-day routines of the school’s students and staff. However, toward the end of the construction phase, typical access to the cafeteria was somewhat interrupted.
Once complete the final product provided a beautiful and visually appealing aesthetic that introduced a design build meant to emulate today’s retail-like atmosphere. The kitchen and cafeteria became far more operationally sound and efficient through its addition of a food prep room as well as two serving lines — increasing the total number of access points from two to four.
Overall the project was a tremendous success in retaining more students for on campus dining. In the first year, AJHS saw an increase of 50 meal plans and the increase in serving lines has allowed the school to service that increase of customers with greater speed and efficiency.