The open area in between the north and south ramp, generally known as the courtyard, is a space where students can have a chance to get some fresh air and eat lunch outside. For years, students have had to resort to eating their lunches in hallways and stairwells in the colder and rainy months because of the lack of space available during lunch hours. But now, the district is hoping to change that.
In addition to allowing students to take a break in the middle of the day, the courtyard allows for students to spread out more during lunch. But on cold and rainy days, everyone is expected to fit into the small cafeteria that East has.
“We’ve seen a lot more kids eating on the ramps, in the hallways, eating in the band room, some in the choir room” said Jeremy Higgins, assistant principal. “Because there’s just not a lot of space in the lunch room and when things get packed in there it just becomes a little uncomfortable for kids.”
As soon as school gets out for the summer, scheduled renovations will begin. The plan is to push the lunchroom back, taking room from the courtyard. Parts of the courtyard will be renovated and the lower section will be enclosed so that it becomes part of the cafeteria. The upper part of the courtyard will be left with tables so that students still have the option of eating outside on warmer days.
In addition to the expansion onto the courtyard, the cafeteria floor will be leveled. Right now, there are two small ramps on the north and south sides. By removing the hand rails and flattening the floor, more tables will fit and therefore, more space for students.
Along with this, a student store is being added to where the pizza line currently is. Administrators hope to have the store run like a real store. It will be open during lunches and run by students. Also, the kitchen area will be getting other small renovations such as new tile.
These renovations are a part of the bond that went through recently. Along with this and the other big changes throughout the district, East will have other repairs occurring in the next couple of years. For example, the little theatre is having reparations, a new artificial turf field is being put in, the counseling center is being improved, the parking lot is having restorations, along with other minor reparations throughout the school.