Board of Directors Approves Culinary Arts Center ExpansionJul 1, 2016 -
Expansion project creates dedicated Culinary Classroom.
Boys Republic’s Board of Directors, staff and students spent the better part of fiscal 2015 laying the conceptual groundwork for an expansion and improvement of the Max Scott Culinary Arts Center. The existing kitchen was constructed in 1917 and, despite an extraordinary record of serving nearly 30,000 students over the course of a century, the agency’s evolving needs and modern health and safety standards finally require that we replace and upgrade the facility.
Boys Republic retained the Pasadena firm Architecture for Education (A4E) to develop conceptual drawings and estimates for a renovated and expanded Culinary Arts Center. A4E, like its name implies, works solely in educational facility design. The firm was founded by the nationally-recognized architect Gaylaird Christopher.
The project’s design began with a series of collaborative meetings and workshops involving Boys Republic Board members, staff, students and A4E staff and consultants which proved to be a highly interactive learning experience for all. Early in the process, Boys Republic students measured the dimensions of each area of the existing Culinary Arts Center for as-built drawings.
Inspired by Myron Hunt
The Architecture for Education team delivered a conceptual design package that transforms the existing kitchen and cafeteria into a modern food services training facility while retaining the traditional styling of the greater campus. In the early 1900s, noted Southern California architect Myron Hunt designed Boys Republic’s overall campus layout, as well as the Margaret B. Fowler Auditorium and the Eldridge Fowler, Hobart Moore, Stanley McCormick and Henry Laws Cottages.
Underlying the Culinary Arts Center development has been an effort to incorporate the Hunt aesthetic in the new construction so the Center will blend with the rest of the historic campus. Hunt’s design features are known for long ranch-style construction, white plaster finishes, redwood beams and a simple lack of ornamentation that lets natural materials “speak”. The project retains a sense of history and natural beauty and, at the same time, introduces the elements of a high energy learning environment.
A Dynamic Teaching Center
The Max Scott Center for the Culinary Arts will have a remodeled full service production kitchen, expanded teaching bakery, an updated service line and a new Culinary Arts Classroom servicing an exterior café. The overall design will provide students the opportunity to learn culinary skills utilizing the type of food services equipment and practices that they would encounter in real world employment. (For architectural illustrations and a detailed description of the Kitchen Replacement Project, download here).
“We’re very excited about the opportunities the new facility will bring to our students,” said Executive Director Chris Burns. “Most of them come from families with very limited means and they’ll need some form of self-support. The training they receive here will give them a realistic chance of obtaining an entry-level job in food services.”
A new Culinary Arts Classroom and attached bistro will quadruple student enrollment in the food services class. Students will study the fundamentals of food services technology and practice culinary skills on the same commercial equipment they would encounter in an entry-level job.
The project expands the Teaching Bakery to create three separate learning areas: pastry doughs, breads, and deserts. Burns noted, “Student enrollment capacity in the bakery will more than double. This will additionally help lower food cost for the residential program.”
Finally, the existing Production Kitchen, originally constructed in 1917, prepares meals three times daily for 145 residential students and the staff who supervise them. A new Production Kitchen will update the facility to modern health and safety standards and create a vocational training opportunity in institutional cooking for students who have completed the food services class.
The entire project, including architectural design, construction, permits and furnishings will cost $4.5 million. Boys Republic’s Board of Directors reviewed and approved the conceptual design package and has authorized a three-year capital campaign to fund the project. Fund-raising will seek support from individuals, corporations and foundations. Construction will require approximately nine months beginning in July 2017.