DAVENTRY-based restaurant and commercial kitchen design company, Catering Design Group (CDG), has been awarded a contract at Eltham College, an independent school in Mottingham, South East London.
With investment being jointly funded by the school and Eltham College's caterers, Chartwells Independent, CDG has commenced a full kitchen/restaurant interior design and build project at the school which will run over three phases and is due for completion in August 2018.
Phil Howard, managing director of CDG, said: "We initially supported Chartwells Independent with design concepts as part of their tender bid for the catering contract at Eltham College. They subsequently won the contract and we then worked directly with Chartwells and the school to develop a scheme to meet the brief."
CDG is now realising its vision for the school, which marks its 175th anniversary this year. The refurbishment of the kitchen and dining space is part of an ongoing programme of investment by the school to secure its future as one of the UK's leading independent schools.
"Our brief was clear and detailed," said Phil Howard. "Eltham College wanted to create a more sophisticated and welcoming dining hall and to modernise and upgrade the food preparation facilities. Another key part of the brief was to increase capacity in the dining hall."
The project includes works to the kitchen, a dish wash area, a walk-in cold storage area, staff changing area, office, and remodelling the servery and school dining hall.
Susan Roxby, bursar at Eltham College said: "Our existing dining and kitchen facilities are inefficient: the servery and dining space is large but with poor flows, acoustics and lighting and is ill-suited for our younger users. We are keen to increase the quality of the experience for our students, staff and guests as part of our drive for high standards right across Eltham College.
"Academic excellence has always been at the heart of the education we offer. But outstanding schools are never just about academic work; it is just as important to us that we consider the wider wellbeing of our community. Our dining hall and kitchen stand at the heart of our school and the time is right to invest in these facilities."
Part of the building works will involve CDG reshaping existing areas, including incorporating a corridor between the existing servery and kitchen to create more usable space in the dining hall. A former art work room is to become a staff changing, office and additional storage space for the on-site catering team.
CDG is also installing a scissor lift to facilitate the movement of bulk food items from the dry store up to the kitchen. This has previously been done by hand via a flight of stairs so the lift will minimise manual handling.
CDG's creative design solutions to improve the ambience of the space will include acoustic panels, better lighting, new flooring, furniture and fully mobile counters which can be relocated as required to ensure flexible use of the space and to support potential commercial use of the facilities.
There will also be a complete overhaul of kitchen equipment to increase the range and variety of food that can be prepared.