School district celebrates opening of new student union

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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Despite the rainfall, Winters Joint Unified School District staff, administrators and high school students celebrated the opening of the new Winters High School student union building with a ribbon cutting ceremony and ice cream on Monday, Dec. 2. Following a welcome speech by Winters JUSD Superintendent Todd Cutler, Student Representative Samantha Salgado had the honor of cutting the ribbon alongside WHS Principal John Barsotti and School Board President Robert Warren. The ceremony served as the official opening of the student union building and new cafeteria kitchen. Cathy Olsen, Director of Food Services, and her team at WHS served a hot meal to students prepared on site for the first time. Previously all of the high school meals were prepared in the Waggoner Elementary kitchen, and then wrapped and transported to WHS. The new facility has stainless steel countertop islands and food prep stations, quality commercial ranges and cooking equipment and serving bar. The team also now has access to an onsite wash room, dry storage, freezer and walk-in refrigerator. According to Olsen the new facility not only will allow more scratch cooking on the WHS site, but having the equipment and ovens will help enhance the quality of the food served to students. Barsotti also noted the WHS Culinary Program will also utilize the kitchen area in the student union building. Salgado said the addition of the student union building is important for the student body because they now have a place where they can all be together and enjoy lunch. It will also provide a warm place to gather together to get out of the cold weather elements. “This means that more people are going to talk to each other,” said Salgado. “We’re all going to enjoy and talk as a community and be together.” Inside the facility offers new restrooms, drinking fountains and water bottle filling station. It also features a variety of tables and seating that can be moved around to accommodate the students needs. The wall features two garage style doors that can be rolled up to open the area up more and join with outside patio access.  The student union building was part of funds from Measure D and constructed by Van Pelt Construction Services.]]>

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