“The famous French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, whose armies conquered the European land mass not once but twice, observed that an army marches on its stomach,” said Henry Chanin, head of school at The Meadows School.
He was speaking at the Sept. 16 dedication of the final building to grace the private school’s campus at 8601 Scholar Lane. Named the Richard K.C. Lee Mustang Corral, the approximately 3,000-square-foot building will offer lunch food prepared by Sage Dining Services.
The school’s mascot is the Mustang, hence the corral designation.
“For the last 30 years, we have been on a single-minded mission to build the finest academic institution in the region,” Chanin said. “Thirty years ago, the school started with 40 acres of dirt and no money in the bank. … Now, we’re very fortunate to have a very progressive board of trustees who thinks not in terms of semesters but in terms of generations.”
He said the new building added another layer of security to the campus, so the school did not need to deal with what he termed a “noontime circus of vendors.”
Inside, coolers line one side, where cold water, juices and fruit smoothies are displayed. There are baskets holding single-serve cookies, chips and snacks, with price tags displayed front and center.
Across the way, a serving line with trays allows one to choose from hot-service foods. Fresh fruit is displayed near the cash register at the end. Stainless steel sets an industrial tone with a light-colored floor and sky blue walls. Students enter through one door and exit through another for one continuous stream of operation.
The Corral will serve all of the approximately 900 students at the school. Rather than having elementary-age children traversing the 42-acre campus, lower school students have the foods brought to their area for purchase. Students in the higher grades can purchase the food at the Corral but take it back to their common areas (think food service-free cafeteria rooms) to eat.
Until now, the students brought their own lunches and ate in their common areas.
Amber Peterson, a senior, said her mother normally prepares a sandwich for her lunch and rounds it out with fruit and a couple of cookies or chips. She explained how students eat in a designated room.
“It’s different than other schools, but it’s worked,” she said. “I’m going to try it (the Corral) out. If I like it, then I’ll keep getting it. If I don’t, and there’s not a very high chance that I won’t, then my mom will still make my lunch.”
The last time the school saw construction was about three years ago when the second phase of the gymnasium was built, which included a second gym space, a workout room, a trainer office and a movement room where cheerleaders work out, wrestlers meet and meetings are held.
“We have over half a million square feet of building space,” said Bernetta Stebritz, director of advancement. “We have 42 acres, but half of that acreage is taken up by baseball fields, softball fields, football fields, track (and) eight tennis courts. It takes the entire west end of the campus.”
Construction began on the Corral in July. It sits in the back of the campus, near the athletic fields, and cost $2.2 million to build.
“The history of the school is such that every time we’ve gotten some money together, we’ve done things that have focused on academics, and so we built classrooms before we built a cafeteria, classrooms before we built gymnasiums,” said Jeremy Gregersen, assistant head of school. “So you could say we’ve been waiting 30 years for this.”
The Lee family was on hand for the dedication. They provided major funding for the building.
Richard K.C. Lee lives in Hong Kong, and his ties to the school are through his grandchildren, Victoria and Richard, and his son, Duncan, who decided to name the facility for his father.
“My father, who was not able to earn a college degree due to war-torn China, instilled the importance of education with 12 university degrees and over eight post-graduate degrees earned by his children and grandchildren,” Duncan Lee said. “He had two grandchildren (who) attended The Meadows Schools from kindergarten, and both graduated with high honors. The two grandchildren suggested the name, the Meadows Corral, after him due to his sacrifices and the values he has instilled for future generations.”
This was the final build-out of the campus. There are no plans to consider more construction, Stebritz said.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at email@example.com or 702-387-2949.