After 12 Years, Barnegat High School Finally Has Its Concession Stand

Nov 01, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy Barnegat Board of Education Scott Sarno and Superintendent Karen Wood cut the ribbon signifying the opening of the high school’s new concession stand on Oct. 27.

When the plans for Barnegat High School started developing some 15 years ago, the plan always was to have a concession stand on site near the football field, but it was something that had to go by the wayside at the outset. Eventually, the discussion to put that concession stand in place started happening again.

Hours before the Homecoming football game on Oct. 27, the building needed to complete the original plan was unveiled, and Athletic Director John Germano couldn’t help but be a little sentimental about it.

“Before she passed, my mother was one of the founding members of the booster club, who’ve worked the concessions since the very first football game we ever had here,” he said, moments after Superintendent Karen Wood and Board of Education President Scott Sarno cut the ribbon signifying the stand’s opening. “One of her dreams was for us to have a concession stand, and this is a special day for me because it was a dream of hers. We’ve turned the page as a school. It’s a big moment for us.”

Construction for the concession building began June 30 and required at least three months to complete. But the process started long before that, as District Business Administrator Lourdes LaGuardia for several years set aside funds within the capital reserve fund.

“Five years ago, some of our board members said they would like this and asked me to come up with a plan,” she said. “At the time, we really didn’t have the full-service funds to do a building like this. So over the years, by making sure we didn’t have to use our capital reserve funds for anything big, like a roof or floors, we eventually had the opportunity to do this. So we rolled out a plan a few years ago, and here we are.”

The 40-by-22-foot structure, which cost some $690,000, has everything the booster club needs to operate at full steam – multiple refrigerators, a deep fryer, coffee machines, a large grill and plenty of storage space. It will be in operation during football games for the remainder of the season, which culminates when the Bengals host Pinelands Regional on Wednesday, Nov. 22, and for other athletic and special events, as needed, Germano said.

Of course, one of the best features of the building is the new restrooms, something that always is in high demand for larger events.

“When you’re trying to host big events – maybe an all-day track meet – or be a Shore Conference Tournament host site for something, a couple of Port-O-Johns don’t cut it,” he said. “You need good bathroom facilities for things like that. And now, this building gives us some legitimacy in that regard.”

Wood said it was time for Barnegat to catch up with the rest of the school districts in the area.

“The high school opened 12 years ago, and prior to this we had a trailer for concessions, and it was difficult to work in,” she said. “Go to any other high school in the Shore Conference and they have these beautiful facilities with a nice concession stand. We were one of the only schools to not have one, so it was time. And other than general maintenance, this is the last piece to the project we had originally laid out, and now everything is right. All the pieces are in place now.”

During his remarks prior to helping cut the ribbon, Sarno said how much he’d hated hearing people complain that Barnegat didn’t have a proper concession stand and restroom facility.

“There are a lot of people within this district who had a hand in putting this all together, and it looks astounding,” he said. “So I commend them for their hard work, because it’s something this district didn’t have, and I hated it when people would come here for our sporting events and ceremonies and they had a Port-O-John and a trailer.”

LaGuardia and Germano both emphasized the fact that the newest addition will help increase funding, which will go right back to the students through scholarships, programs and equipment needs.

“It’s another sign of unity,” LaGuardia said. “This is all about our students and what we can do to help them as they grow toward their futures.”

Germano said he was “like a proud papa.”

“It is a proud moment as an administrator and resident,” he said. “I live here and my kids go to our schools, so I’m honored and thrilled that we finally have this in place. It’s going to do a lot for our kids and our community.”

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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