Hospital donates equipment for Two Rivers cafeteria |

Hospital donates equipment for Two Rivers cafeteria

A floorplan drawing of the planned new addition at Two Rivers Community School shows the cafeteria and kitchen area at the far righthand side.

Valley View Hospital has donated more than $100,000 of commercial-grade kitchen equipment from its former café to the Two Rivers Community School in Glenwood Springs.

The gift will allow the state charter school that opened in 2014 to open a full-service cafeteria by fall 2017 when it expects to complete a $8.4 million renovation and building addition.

In 2015, Valley View relocated, expanded and remodeled its cafeteria on the second floor of the Calaway-Young Cancer Center building to improve the organization’s food service capacity for inpatients and retail customers.

Some of the equipment, such as cooktops, exhaust hoods and the dishwashing system, had to be replaced, according to Chad Kruse, director of facilities for the hospital.

“We needed greater capacity to meet the needs of our patients and customers,” Kruse said in a news release. “About the same time, we learned that Two Rivers was hoping to include a full-service cafeteria in their new building.

“It was a great opportunity to give back,” he said. “Valley View is focused on caring, and working with Two Rivers is a way we can extend that care out into the community.”

Hospital and school representatives met last summer to work out the plan.

The school’s governing board finalized a deal in September 2016, securing $10 million in bonds to buy the former postal facility building in West Glenwood where the school is located and to complete the renovation and 8,500-square-foot addition where the cafeteria is to be located.

The property is now owned by the school, and ground breaking for the new addition is planned for Feb. 21, said Adriana Ayala-Hire, a co-founder of the Two Rivers School who serves as director of business and outreach.

“We were in the early stages of developing the plans for the addition to our school, and knowing we had all this equipment coming energized us,” Ayala-Hire said of the hospital’s donation.

Two Rivers Community School currently serves 228 students in grades K-8 and operates as a charter school under the Colorado Charter School Institute, a division of the Colorado Department of Education.

Because the school currently has no cafeteria, it has not been eligible to receive federal funding for food service or to offer a free and reduced meals program for students that may qualify.

“A cafeteria means we can provide healthy meals and fresh salads for students and staff every day,” Ayala-Hire said. “We are so grateful to the hospital for the huge gift they gave us.”

The school addition and remodel should be ready by the time students return to school for the 2017-18 school year on Aug. 28.

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