Modernizing Workspaces

A Complete Café Overhaul

Project Overview

The Café Renovation project in Wichita, KS, encompassed a comprehensive overhaul of the existing café and kitchen area. This renovation involved procuring and installing new kitchen appliances, upgraded finishes and an updated layout designed to enhance efficiency and improve working conditions. Despite the construction occurring within an active call center, the renovation was carefully managed to avoid any disruption to staff, with the project reaching completion in July 2023.

Initial Problem and Solution

The original kitchen and café were outdated, with maxed-out electrical capacity and inefficient grease disposal practices. This renovation provided a state-of-the-art kitchen space featuring new wall and floor finishes, modern equipment and an improved layout that facilitates better circulation and workflow. A new electrical panel increased the facility’s electrical capacity, while a new grease interceptor, strategically buried in the parking lot, streamlined grease disposal directly from the kitchen.

Team Involvement and Challenges

GBA Builders secured the project through a competitive bid on the design drawings and delivered construction services in accordance with the external architectural plans by JPC Architects from Seattle. The project faced challenges, including unforeseen underground conduits and pipes that impacted the installation of the new grease interceptor. The team mitigated potential delays by adjusting the schedule to continue working on the café interior while addressing exterior issues. Night shifts were employed in the early stages to prevent disruption to the call center’s daily operations, ensuring the project was executed without interrupting the call center’s functions.

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Community Impact and Complexity

The upgraded café significantly enhanced the working environment for local employees, contributing to a better overall employee experience. One of the most complex aspects was installing a drainpipe for the grease interceptor, requiring extensive saw-cutting of concrete and trenching down a long hallway. This area was safely managed to ensure employee access while maintaining the project schedule.

Project Outcome and Lessons Learned

The Café Renovation was completed on time and within budget, meeting the July 2023 deadline. Key lessons learned included ensuring accuracy in kitchen equipment layout dimensions between the kitchen equipment vendor and design drawings to prevent placement errors.

The result is a modern, efficient and employee-friendly café that enhances the daily experience for staff.


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