A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today at the new restaurant for the Culinary Arts Program at the Medford Vocational Technical High School, “Bistro 489”. The restaurant was able to be designed thanks to a $500,000 Capital Skills Equipment Grant from Governor Charlie Baker and Lt Governor Karyn Polito. In addition, the Medford Public Schools received the following: a $35,000 state regionalization grant for lighting improvements, a $250,000 ADA compliance grant, and $250,000 from the City of Medford. The Lowes Heroes organization graciously donated not only $25,000, but also provided volunteers and paint to paint the restaurant. Most importantly, the restaurant was constructed in part by technical and trade students, as well as, local unions and members of the Medford Department of Public Works.
“As you may have seen as you were were walking in, there a few items still in need of completion before our grand opening in January. Over the coming weeks, Culinary arts students and instructors will train in this area, prepare menu items, and become acquainted with their new state of the art cooking and dining facility. We will also welcome the executive chef from the Wynn Boston Harbor Hotel and Casino in January to meet with our students and provide a demo in our new space prior to our grand opening”, said Principal Fallon.
Over the past four years, the building has witnessed a significant redesign as it updated classrooms and program offerings. Five years ago, the Vocational Technical High School offered (11) Chapter 74 programs. Today, the school offers (20) Chapter 74 programs, including Robotics, Bio-Technology and Media Technology, to name a few. In addition, the Medford Vocational Technical High School just opened its new media center in September.
The Medford Public Schools has offered Vocational Education since the early 1930’s and features one of the most unique programs in the Commonwealth. The Vocational Technical High School is connected to the Comprehensive High School. Today, students can take classes in both the comprehensive side and the vocational technical side, if they so choose.
Principal/Director Chad Fallon welcomed everyone and acted as the Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Stephanie Burke, Superintendent Roy Belson, and former Principal Director Dr. Heidi Riccio, all addressed those in attendance. Kirsteen Patterson, the Director of Budget and Personnel introduced the Stop and Shop Companies who not only made a $10,000 donation to the Medford Vocational Technical High School’s Culinary Arts Program, but also volunteered to pay for lunch for all Medford Public School students on December 21st. Representing Stop and Shop at the ribbon cutting were: Store Manager Jim Allen, Center Store Managers Marissa Mason & Arthur Gettings, and Front End Specialist Ann Marie Sullivan.
“This restaurant will serve as a gathering place and become a great asset to this community”, said Superintendent Roy Belson. The restaurant is projected to open to the public in late January.
Present at the ceremony were: Deputy Superintendent Beverly Nelson, Assistant Superintendent Diane Caldwell, Director of Curriculum Dr. Bernadette Riccardelli, Headmaster Dr. John Perella, Associate Director of MVTHS Jill Sawyer, Members of the School Committee: Ann Marie Cugno, Erin DiBenedetto, Robert Emmet Skerry, Jr., Mea Mustone, Paulette Van der Kloot and Kathy Kreatz, City Councillor Rick Caraviello and State Representative Paul J. Donato. School Committee Elect Paul Ruseau was also in attendance, as well as, Director of Mathematics Carolyn Joy, Director of K-12 Science Rocco Cieri, Director of Foreign Language Rita DiCarlo, Director of Building & Grounds John McLaughlin, Director of Early Childhood Shelley Gross, Director of Public Services Kathleen Medaglio, Mr. John Tocco of Wynn Resorts Boston, Mr. Lou Mandarini, Laborers, Local 22, Richard Raymond of Armstrong Ambulance, Stephen Pompeo of Pompeo & Sons Insurance, Charlotte Scudieri from the Chamber of Commerce, Lonna Battles from Members Plus Credit Union, and Board of Health Director Mary Ann O’Connor. Special thanks to the Culinary Arts students and teachers for providing the continental breakfast.