man moves items from shelvingi nto large open cardboard box

…and The Cupboards Were Bare!

By Fargo Public Schools Maintenance & Operations Director Jim Frueh


I couldn’t help but think of the Mother Goose nursery rhyme earlier this week:

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone,
But when she came there
The cupboard was bare!

bare shelvingA huge shift in Fargo Public Schools distribution and printing processes quietly began on Monday, June 5. Early in the morning, plumbers, electricians, food service equipment companies, laundry service people, and moving and storage workers descended upon the Fargo Public Schools Warehouse, Central Kitchen, and Print Shop. It was “relocation day,” a day much anticipated, although with mixed emotions!

As part of the City of Fargo downtown flood wall construction project, portions of the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) warehouse building, located at 419 3rd Avenue North, was purchased by the City for demolition to make room for the new flood wall and rerouted downtown traffic. The downtown building housed the school district’s Nutrition Services Central Kitchen, Supplies Warehouse, and Trades departments. Fargo Public Schools built a new District Operations Center at 39th Street and 40th Avenue South to house those departments being displaced. The operations building was completed in January 2017, and the FPS Trades and Grounds departments moved in to their new office and work spaces shortly after the start of the new year. The FPS Print Shop, housed at a rented facility along 25th Street South in Fargo, is also slated to permanently relocate operations to this new center, in a move designed to promote efficiency and save money.

man moves items from shelving into packing boxesCentral Kitchen, Warehouse, and Print Shop staff have been actively packing and labeling boxes for the big move for the past several weeks. Every case of paper, printer’s ink, classroom white board, eraser, bottle of art class tempera paint, refrigerated food items, cooking utensils, food tray racks, frozen foods, and hand towels – EVERYTHING – is moving.

With the conclusion of the school year for students and teachers on June 1, and thus the halt of daily food preparation, it was now time for the Central Kitchen, Warehouse, and Print Shop to “pack up shop,” move equipment and boxed up supplies, then unpack, and set up operations in their new location. The following tasks took place on June 5:

  • Hobart unhooked and moved the Central Kitchen ovens
  • Manning Mechanical detached sinks
  • Dakota Refrigeration unhooked the blast chiller and ice machines
  • Advanced Electrical disconnected the wired appliances being moved to the new location
  • General Parts unfastened additional food service cooking equipment
  • Jobbers Moving and Storage began moving the boxed up warehouse items
  • Greg’s Laundry Services unhooked washing and drying equipment
  • FPS staff began moving the Print Shop equipment and supplies

man dismantles large cooking equipmentsink unhooked from wallempty room in printing shopAs I looked through the warehouse on the morning of June 5, I was saddened by the empty shelves and thought of that Old Mother Hubbard nursery rhyme. As I thought of the line, “the cupboards were bare,” it made me think of how the FPS Supply Warehouse, Central Kitchen, Grounds and Trades departments, and Print Shop all work in the background, typically unseen and virtually unnoticed for the important work they perform on a daily basis to keep the school district running. My thoughts then led to how valuable each department is in the school district, no matter what task it is they perform – we are all working to provide a safe and effective learning environment for the FPS students. We all are a family, working together for a greater cause!

Thank you to all of the FPS Services and Trades departments for the work you do every day. Know that as we think of the big picture that is Fargo Public Schools, you are all truly valuable employees!

By July 1, we are hoping the cupboards will no longer be bare in the new District Operations Center. All warehouse items should be stored in their proper place in the building on 40th Avenue South, and the kitchen and printing equipment fastened down, wired in, and hooked back up – ready for the FPS Nutrition Services Central Kitchen, Print Shop, Trades, Grounds, and Warehouse staffs to begin planning and making preparations for the 2017–18 school year, when we welcome back students on August 24 for another year of learning.