A celebration tonight marks the beginning of Savannah Technical College’s newest multi-million project: a building for the culinary arts program. 

The new addition on West Bay Street more than doubles the program’s teaching space. An operational restaurant and bakery, in addition to more classrooms, will fill the space.

The renovation starts soon, but the project is seven years in the making. Chef Jean Vendeville, the director of the baking, culinary and pastry program, will teach there when it opens. “It’s a win-win situation because they’re going to have the training in a real-life setting. So when they go to their employer, they will have that real-life experience already,” he said.

The new building more than doubles teaching space for students and the community. Once the year-long project is finished, anyone can take classes. And anyone can enjoy what’s cooking inside.

Quartez Jerido, a baking and pastry arts student from Alabama, says the program can prepare anyone. “They do prepare you for how to make sauce a proper way, techniques… things you need to survive in this business,” he said.

Savannah Tech now owns all three stories of the building, which used to be Club Rain.