05/11/04 — Renovations to Wayne hospital cafeteria nearing completion

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Renovations to Wayne hospital cafeteria nearing completion

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 11, 2004 2:03 PM

The Wayne Memorial Hospital cafeteria remains open during the final stage of renovations -- just don't expect any iced tea for the next three months.

The $2.2 million project is expected to be finished by mid-July. Cafeteria service moved into the new side of the building last week, and the carpeted dining room is in use.

The new room has caused some temporary challenges. For example, the temporary serving area is farther from the kitchen, so prepared food must be transported. Eventually the serving area will be by the kitchen.

As a result, said Joe DePalantino, director of support services, "Obviously we can't provide all of the items we would like to provide."

There are no water lines or drains in the serving area, so cold drinks are stored in a cooler. Likewise, there is no ice.

"There are strict health guidelines," DePalantino said. "You can't have a big bowl of ice sitting out."

So getting a glass of iced tea is out of the question.

When finished, the cafeteria will be almost twice its original size.

The dining room was enlarged by 4,733 square feet to take in part of the courtyard. It previously seated 100 people. It will eventually accommodate 260, said Garry O'Neill, director of food and nutrition services. The cafeteria will also have four partitioned meeting rooms.

The outside patio area, which seats 24, has been landscaped, and a waterfall was added.

O'Neill said the kitchen did not require upgrades and was not included in the renovation project. In addition to food for the cafeteria, the kitchen staff prepares for an average of 200 patients for each meal, he said.

DePalantino said the new cafeteria will feature a "scatter system."

"Food stations in the serving area will be scattered out so there's no long lines in any particular area," O'Neill explained.