FPL kitchen possibilities to be explored

FPL kitchen possibilities to be explored

It will take someone with culinary expertise to explore the possibilities of a teaching kitchen at the expanded Fayetteville Public Library, board members heard Feb. 17.

The basic idea for the kitchen is set, Executive Director David Johnson said. Brightwater will host a culinary program for high school students. Visitors will be able to sit down at the deli. Culinary courses also will be offered to people.

A commissioned study will spell out operational logistics, what equipment and space is needed, staffing recommendations and regulatory and budgeting requirements. Estimated cost of the study is $19,500, and would be paid for through a grant with the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, Johnson said.

“There are a lot of hobbyist and neat things to do, but it also could be a hub for training kitchen staff and people so they can go right into the workforce,” he said. “There may also be people who want to change careers.”

The idea has sparked interest from local restaurant owners, Johnson said. People interested in kitchen or front-of-house work would be able take their learning experience straight to the workforce, he said.

A consultant also would recommend how to implement a closed-loop food system, with food grown on-site, Johnson said. Additionally, aspiring chefs could use the space to experiment with their own creations, he said.

The study will help pin down what kinds of classes could be offered, what the prices should be at the deli to have an affordable menu while covering costs and the hours for the different types of uses, Johnson said.

“It’s just trying to bring in the experts to help guide some of those ancillary decisions,” he said.

In other business, the board got an overview of a field observation report on the expansion. The architects regularly observe construction to ensure work aligns with design. No issues were reported.

“This field observation report is the most boring field observation report I’ve ever seen,” Board Member Bret Park said, who also is an architect. “I’m glad about that.”

Remodeling at the main library has started. Johnson said the work to connect the Blair library to the expansion will begin in mid-April. Move-in to the expansion will start in September.

The opening for the newly expanded library is tentatively scheduled Oct. 9-10, Johnson said.

“Everything seems to be falling right into place,” he said.



Web watch

For more information, go to the library expansion website:


Categories: Food