When School Lunch Director Paul Carlozzo arrived at the Central Islip School District on Long Island, NY in 2010, one of the first things he noted was the tired and antiquated high school cafeteria.
The lack of serving line and the need for a total cafeteria renovation at the high school was evident. Carlozzo had a vision and wanted to bring his extensive Food Service background to the students and staff at the Central Islip School district.
Initially the focus was on repairing a School Lunch Program that was financially challenged and in need of attention. New menus and staff training in all schools came first, but the goal to renovate the High School serving area was still a much-needed challenge.
Eventually Carlozzo presented a proposal to the Board of Education and with the guidance and expertise of Business Administrator, Kevin Miller and buy in from the community, the project was approved. Central Islip Facility Director, Matthew Providente spearheaded the construction, which included the removal of walls, new floors, and installation of new electric, plumbing and HVAC System, as well as the addition of an atrium and new outside eating areas.
The Project offers a newly designed cafeteria and seating area including new Food Court Style Serving lines. A new Faculty serving line was also incorporated into the design.
The Students and Staff at Central Islip are thrilled and the response as well as the participation is way up. Students can choose from a variety of stations and food offerings as well as a separate snack area for a la carte purchases.
The new Central Islip High School Food Court is made up of five food stations where students can purchase entrees which are considered a “Lunch”. The food court caters to the majority of students by offering a variety of popular food items. “Some of our students may prefer to eat the same type of foods each day, while others prefer to move from station to station depending on what is offered that day,” Carlozzo explained. “Throughout the year, we evaluate menus and make changes based on student demand and suggestions. Our goal is for our students and faculty to enjoy!”
The Carlozzo led Central Islip High School turned to noted equipment and supply professional: Jerry Hoffman of The Sam Tell Companies to accomplish their goals for the new facility’s cafeteria renovation. “It’s easy to feed off the passion and enthusiasm that Paul and his team had to get this right,” noted Hoffman. “We knew that creating these stations and making each one exciting for the students was crucial to creating a facility that would be special.”
So Hoffman needed to find a manufacturer that could execute his vision for the cafeteria renovation project. With LTI and its energetic leader Mike Purcell, the Central Islip team was able to find a factory with a comprehensive understanding of the needs of an educational facility.
Purcell has long been known as a go-to source by school food service directors throughout New York State. He has worked on a countless number of school district projects throughout his career. Purcell brought in LTI’s Education Sales Specialist, Willis Smith to assist Hoffman with all the details. Smith’s team presented Hoffman and Carlozzo with design options for the dining room décor and seating plans. After many months of discussion, Central Islip decided to use LTI to supply all of the furniture and interior décor elements to bring the entire renovation together. The Central Islip cafeteria renovation includes the Gridiron Grill. “Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers, Chicken Nuggets, Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, and Chicken Tenders are some of the foods featured at this station,” Carlozzo explained.
LTI crafted the custom fabrication and refrigeration to anchor: World’s Fare. “This station features Classic flavors from around the world,” Carlozzo said. Students will find Greek, Tex-Mex, and Asian, Spanish, Thai, specialties.
“Our students and faculty in many cases want the Sandwich of their choice. So at the Musketeer Deli those sandwiches are expertly prepared or they can feast on one of our Daily Specialty Paninis,” noted Carlozzo.
Hoffman and LTI teamed to design Cuccina de Italia. The station enables Carlozzo’s culinary team to offer a variety of Pizza, Pasta, Calzone, Meatball Heroes, each week. Three different fresh baked pizzas are made daily by Central Islip’s talented cooks. The two most popular are Cheese and Pepperoni, which are served daily. “We also offer a featured pizza with non-traditional flavors such as Mushroom Pizza and Buffalo Chicken Pizza and more,” Carlozzo added.
With an eye towards healthier fare, Carlozzo created The Green House. “Our goal was for our students and faculty to have salads expertly prepared to their specification with an assortment of “Salad Fixins” and Crunchy toppings and a favorite dressing,” Carlozzo noted.
“As we built the plan for this, we could see just how busy our community can be,” said Carlozzo. Once again with the assistance of Hoffmann and LTI a Grab ‘n Go Express station was created. Grab ‘n Go Express features Ready to Go salads and sandwiches, yogurt parfaits and specialties pre-packaged and Ready to Go.
“All of the hard work and planning and the commitment of SamTell and LTI to get this right has paid off,” Carlozzo concluded on the cafeteria renovation. “There isn’t a meal that goes by that we don’t get the thumbs up from our students.”