Jefferson Community Club’s kitchen was in desperate need of repairs and upgrades to continue to accommodate the many functions that take place at the facility throughout the year. In fact, outlining a time frame for construction posed a challenge because of the growing number of events on the calendar. We planned for many months, fine-tuned our budget, and made preparations for essentially gutting the small kitchen to replace its materials and fixtures with commercial food service grade furnishings that would allow for better traffic flow, functionality, energy efficiency, and a clean, safe work space. After those months of planning, we completed the work of the project from demolition to completion in less than two weeks, with the commitment of approximately 10 volunteers who gave nearly 300 hours of community service. The construction and repair work includes demolition, replacing rotting floors with new plywood and overlay of roll vinyl, removal of old bowed paneling, addition of insulation and new wall sheathing, updated and upgraded electrical outlets and plumbing, refinished ceiling, installation of fiberglass reinforced panels on the wall, and approximately 40′ of stainless work tables and double sink. The outdated and out of service appliances have been replaced with energy efficient models that match the clean commercial design of the kitchen.
In the past, this kitchen was a tight space for sometimes upward of 15 individuals working in the kitchen at large scale events like barbecues, and old features and installations did not accommodate this level of service volunteers. With the new design and new fixtures, the kitchen offers more work space, more floor space, and an easy-to-maintain facility that is expected to last many years to come. This project’s greatest assets have been financial support from ALA-TOM RC&D and volunteer service from members of the community.