AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board officially approved a motion to solicit bids for a new, commercial-grade kitchen for Hammond High Magnet School.

The kitchen will be used as part of the Pro-Start program, a nationwide, two-year program that teaches culinary arts to high school students.

The kitchen’s cost is estimated to be $1.1 million, said Bret Schnadelbach, the system’s financial chief.

Funds to pay for the construction of a new kitchen would come from the proceeds of a tract of land sold by the school system to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Schnadelbach said.

The program has 46 students enrolled, but administrators hope that the new facilities would help the program more than double in enrollment, said Chad Troxclair, Hammond High Magnet School’s principal.

The Pro-Start program could generate enough revenue to help sustain itself, Troxclair said.

“They have a high success rate,” he said. “The students learn a lot of business skills as well.”

Before the new kitchen can be built, it must be approved by the judge overseeing the school system’s 46-year-old desegregation suit.