Remodeling setback delays opening of Rio Rancho HS cafeteria

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. – As summer gets shorter, school districts have less time to get all of their repairs done before students head back into the classroom.

That’s happening at a local high school, and a setback in a remodel is causing a little hiccup for their back-to-school plans.

“We want to make sure we are serving our students good, hot meals, nutritious meals as well, and it’s going to require some new equipment, upgraded equipment,” said Michael Baker, the Chief Operations Officer for Rio Rancho Public Schools.

Rio Rancho High School’s kitchen is getting the remodel, but students and staff have to wait longer than expected before they taste any food out of the kitchen.

“There were some ventilation systems and pipes that were corroded that they had to replace, those things we didn’t quite anticipate. Another thing we had was an electrical panel that we could not locate,” said Baker.

The project was slated to be done by Aug. 1, just in time for school. But delays are pushing that date back a couple of weeks after school starts.

“It’s not just us, but everyone is suffering from supply line issues and construction workers suffering from that. We are seeing some delays in that regard,” Baker said.

The district is now coming up with a different plan to make sure students are fed in the process. Rio Rancho Public Schools said parents shouldn’t worry, their children won’t be affected by this new timeline.

“The food will be prepared off site, they will be served hot meals, they will just be prepared off site and be brought on site,” said Baker.

Lincoln Middle School also got a new kitchen, thankfully that one will be done in time by the time the first bell rings.