New Kenny lunchroom, kitchen approved

Kenny School
A planned lunchroom and kitchen addition at Kenny Community School is on hold after bids for the project came in nearly $2 million over the Minneapolis school district’s budget. Submitted rendering

The Kenny Community School is getting a new lunchroom and kitchen.

The facilities will be part of a 5,200-square-foot addition on the school’s northwest side. The new structure will replace a “temporary” addition — built in 1961 — that houses three classrooms.

The existing lunchroom and kitchen will be converted into three new classrooms, so the school won’t lose any classroom space.

Kenny, built in 1953 next to Kenny Park between 57th and 58th streets, has 468 K–5 students. Currently, its meals are prepared in a central district kitchen and reheated on site. Principal Bill Gibbs said the school has five separate lunch periods — one for kindergartners and first-graders and one each for the other four grades.

The new facilities will allow for on-site cooking and fewer lunch periods. Gibbs said the project could include replacing the building’s lighting.

Plans call for demolition of the existing addition to start March 1 and for conversion of the existing kitchen/lunchroom to start in the summer. The aim is to be done before next school year, Gibbs said. “Construction shouldn’t have a whole lot of disruption to the school,” he said.

The Minneapolis school district is hoping to get the project out to bid Nov. 15, he said.

The district is in the process of shifting to on-site cooking, rather than preparing food at a central kitchen and having schools reheat it. It plans to have on-site cooking at all schools by 2025.

The Planning Commission approved the plan on Nov. 4.