North Texas Daily

Clark kitchen being converted from grill to bakery

Clark kitchen being converted from grill to bakery

Clark kitchen being converted from grill to bakery
September 19
08:03 2013

Joshua Knopp / Senior Staff Writer

UNT dining services is in the process of converting Clark Grill, which has been out of operation since 2010, into a bakery.

The bakery, which will be located inside Clark Hall, will produce every baked good served at UNT. Between equipment and renovations, the process will cost $1.8 million.

Executive director of dining services Bill McNease said the university’s baked goods are currently made in the kitchen of the dining hall where they are served, but having a central location would increase efficiency at all dining halls.

“All of the cafeterias are just getting so busy,” he said. “It makes more sense to have a centralized baking production.”

McNease said once the bakery is complete, UNT will be buying fewer baked goods and will control more of the goods’ processing.

“A great majority of the baked goods we purchase at various stages of completion,” McNease said. “Now we’ll be producing instead of purchasing.”

Cheryl Smith, the project manager of Facilities Management and Construction, is in charge of the renovation of Clark Hall Cafeteria. Now the renovation is almost finished. The bakery kitchen is expected to be open and running in the middle of the fall 2013 semester. -Photo by Zixian Chen / Intern

McNease said the increase in efficiency and reduction of outgoing costs will mean savings for students, but did not have an exact number. Currently, there are 5,935 students on meal plans at UNT, according to dining services statistics. Of those, 5,365 students are on resident meal plans, since students living in residence halls are required by the university to have a meal plan.

Neither UNT dining nor UNT facilities is certain when the bakery will be ready. Project manager Cheryl Smith said the kitchen should be ready for use by late September or early October, but did not have a precise completion date.

Dining services director Shohreh Sparks said after the kitchen was complete, it would still take some time to get it up and running, because the baking team would need to be selected and retrained.

“We need to learn the equipment, and then we need to practice production,” she said.

McNease said the bakery was originally scheduled for an early summer completion, but the build has experienced various setbacks.

Sparks and McNease both said that having a central bakery will increase the food’s quality.

McNease also said having more control over the baked goods was the primary goal of constructing a bakery.

“For an organization to be excellent, there has to be pride in the work,” he said. “And to take pride in the work, you have to actually make something. The bake shop is an extension of that.”

This is the floor plan of Clark Hall bakery. Now the bakery is still belongs to Facilities. Once the renovation finished, the bakery will be turned over to Dining Services. -Floor plan courtesy of Clark Hall Bakery

Clark Hall’€™s cafeteria is being renovated and will become the central bakery for all UNT dining locations. This bakery will start making fresh breads, pastries and desserts as soon as it opens. If all goes well people will be able to order custom cakes and more directly from the bakery. Feature photo by Zixian Chen / Intern

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