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Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 11:55am Age: 2 yrs
Category: District, High School


Inside the high school cafeteria, a cramped serving area resembles a busy intersection at rush hour with long, waiting lines of student traffic. To keep students moving, the school often has to limit its variety of food offerings. Navigating lunchtime congestion to get to the cafeteria and back to class is no walk in the park.

Under the capital project proposal, a new cafeteria addition, in the rear of the high school building, would nearly double the seating capacity and offer more seating options, including booths and a variety of tables and chairs. Combined with a larger serving area, the new cafeteria would lower student wait-times, allow the school to reduce the number of lunch periods and start them at a more reasonable time.

“Feeding 1,330 students a day in the high school cafeteria takes five lunch periods, starting at 9:58 a.m. For that 9:58 a.m. group of roughly 250 students, after-school activities and sports are often done on an empty stomach,” said High School Principal Ken Hauck.

Featuring tiered indoor areas and outdoor seating for warmer weather, the proposed addition would open new possibilities for student activities, large-group instruction and district events. The plans for the new cafeteria also include a solar-panel roof system that would help offset utility costs to the building and provide a solar-technology learning station for students.

After exploring several options, simply expanding the current cafeteria was not an option because the space was built into the side of a hill below ground level, limiting any future growth.

Instead, the proposal calls for the current cafeteria to be repurposed. The kitchen and serving areas would become the instructional space for Career and Technical Education (C-Tech) culinary classes. Currently, approximately 150 Minisink Valley students lose an instructional period traveling to Goshen for C-Tech courses at BOCES, at a cost to the district.

A portion of the existing dining hall would be converted to accommodate a media/TV production studio, a photography classroom and a computer lab. The area adjacent to the auditorium would provide much needed storage for the drama club, as well as two small conference rooms. The proposed conversion of the existing cafeteria would create classroom space for new courses and improve the overall functionality of that area of the high school.

“A new cafeteria building and the repurposing of the original would create many new opportunities for our students. It would allow us to increase our course offerings and improve our academic standing, making Minisink Valley schools more attractive to families,” Principal Hauck said. 

The cost of the proposed cafeteria expansion is estimated at $10,710,00. The cost of additional high school renovations are estimated at $7,340,890.