The Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) and the American Institute of Architects, California (AIACA) recognized HMC Architects and Sacramento City Unified School District’s Central Kitchen with a C.A.S.H./AIA California Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Award in the New Built Project category.

The $70 million project maximized the use of three separate district properties: the existing transportation facility, an existing central warehouse, and a new adjacent property purchased for the project. The transportation facility was moved to the newly purchased property, which allowed the 50,000 SF warehouse to support Central Kitchen bulk storage functions, while the new 40,000 SF building houses the program’s administration offices and central processing kitchen. The facility serves over 60,000 meals per day at full capacity, serving students in grades K-12. In the kitchen, professional chefs convert the bulk product into wholesome packaged meals on-site for the approximately 40,000 students throughout the district’s 90 school sites.

While the project is ultimately designed to churn out thousands of nutritious meals to feed the community, it’s undeniably rooted in childhood education. Research shows that healthy eating translates to better performance in the classroom. The building itself is also a learning lab, featuring a test kitchen for student field trips, taste testing, and remote cooking classes that can be broadcast to schools throughout the district and through the district’s cable TV channels.

Since 1991, C.A.S.H. and the American Institute of Architects, California (AIA CA) have held the Leroy F. Greene Design and Planning Awards to recognize excellence in school facilities design. The awards were presented at a special ceremony during the C.A.S.H annual conference in Sacramento, California.