The new Bryan Road Elementary in Garner, N.C., includes a new kitchen, cafeteria and dining room. Meg Strong, administration/area supervisor, says that knowing what you want, getting everyone on the same page, and examining similar projects all rank among her learnings throughout the Bryan Road Elementary project.

“We learn from other projects,” says Strong. “We liked the plan for another school, but for Bryan Road, we tweaked the plan to give it more aisle space so staff can move more easily through the space.” More aisle space made it possible to bring in the roll-throughs and micro-steamers.

Strong says she also kept close watch on the construction site to be sure utility distribution systems, as well as the flooring and loading dock, were placed according to plan. “We must walk the grounds to be sure everything is where we want it to be,” she says.

Getting good results for new builds and renovation projects also requires staff oversight and supervision. “We learned that you have to know what you want and be firm about getting it,” says Strong. “We check everything, including the width of aisles and walking space and the size of the coolers. We continually communicate with the architects to be sure we’re getting what we need.”