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by Sante Filippini

Upper School students and faculty now share the Willow Grove Cafeteria as part of the larger campus remodel after the construction of the McCausland Lower School this summer.

The change comes after years of sharing both the Cherokee and Willow Grove cafeterias.

High School students and faculty were notified about this change towards the end of last school year, and as soon as the school year began, they have begun to adjust to this new space together as one. To help with more seating and to have the cafeteria space be more comfortable, café tables have been incorporated in the hallway outside of the cafeteria. Although these new accommodations have helped improved the space, some students are still having a hard time adjusting to the new cafeteria space. Many have also given recommendations on how to improve it.

“You could definitely fit three more long tables in here” said Senior Owen Norton. 

Seated right next to him, senior Christopher Yarish, agreed. 

“I think that if we are trying to fit more people into the cafeteria than people should not be allowed to bring their backpacks in,” said Yarish. “ I remember last year you had to step over  20 backpacks to try and get to a seat.”

Some students and faculty have also been a little frustrated with the longer lines this year in the cafeteria. Faculty have brought up the possible idea of expanding the cafeteria and kitchen as it could make the lines move quicker and more efficiently.  

“I would suggest maybe redesigning the cafeteria to have at least two big food serving stations and to be able to produce more of a variety of food,” said History teacher James Spagnoletti.  “I mean that’s the biggest thing they need to do. A bigger space, more food options, more serving centers…the serving area needs to be expanded.”

As with any new changes, there comes growing pains. Head of Upper School, Matthew Norcini, and the SCH administration are aware of that. But they also couldn’t have expected the transition to the new cafeteria to have gone any better than it has. Matthew Norcini also has some very helpful short term as the long term solutions continue to develop. For short term solutions, Norcini encourages students to bring their IDs to the lunch line as it will move the line a lot more swiftly. He also says that, since we have a 50 minute lunch period, it could give students the ability to spread their lunch schedule out and eat lunch at different parts of the lunch break. In terms of long term solutions, he and the administration have discussed possibly extending the cafeteria in the near future as well as possibly having a third cashier to disperse the lines. Norcini also said he wants students to be heard and wants to hear their suggestions. 

“What we are planning on doing as we get into the fall here is to talk to some student groups and see how they think things are and how we might be able to improve things,” said Norcini.



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