By this time next summer, a brightly-colored school bus repurposed into a mobile cafe will roll into neighborhoods in the Bowling Green Independent School District.

That’s the hope of BGISD administrators, and Monday the district’s board of education made that possible by authorizing $50,000 for the renovation project. The plan is to add tables and booths, a refrigerator to store food and an awning on one side to offer shade on hot summer days, according to district Superintendent Gary Fields.

“Food insecurity is a real thing for our kids, and we have to find ways to engage families,” Fields told the Daily News.

The district uses two vans to serve students fruits and vegetables during the summer when school is out and nutritious meals can be harder to come by. Adding an air-conditioned bus, Fields said, will help improve the quality of service the district can offer students on school breaks.

On Monday, the board approved a quote from Final Finish to handle the job, and Fields said the district hopes to have the renovated bus available by next spring or summer.

“Many families are struggling in our community, and I think we have to have an appreciation for that,” Fields said.

Dalla Emerson, the district’s director of food service operations, told the board the bus could also offer students educational opportunities, such as books and educational videos.

“We’ll have books in there. We’ll have scholastic activities. … Our vision is to provide both educational and feeding all in one,” Emerson said.

In other business Monday, the board authorized the district to seek bids for upgrades to softball facilities at Bowling Green High School. The project, totaling $251,035, includes tearing down and relocating dugouts, replacing some fencing with netting around the backstop area and new bleachers.

Work on renovations at Bowling Green High School is continuing, and the board approved several change orders for cost increases with a combined total of $8,555.27. A separate change order translated to a cost saving of $1,090.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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