Students at Waukesha South High School can expect a quicker lunch experience this school year, now that the cafeteria has been remodeled to have more of a "food court feel."
The district unveiled the new lunchroom at an inaugural luncheon Tuesday, Aug. 22, where teachers, principals and school board members got to be the first to dine in the new space.
"Our new cafeteria space will greatly enhance the lunchtime experience for our students," said South High School Principal Ryan Galante. "We are able to offer a wider variety of foods and increase the efficiency of serving our students."
The kitchen and cafeteria were both original to the building, which was built in 1957. However, as the school grew and additions were built, the cafeteria was not adjusted for the growing number of students and remained largely the same, except for some minor cosmetic enhances and equipment replacement.
As a result, wait times for students to get their food continually grew. With more than 1,300 students, even split into three groups, getting lunch was a long process.
"There was one long line to get your food, which is not conducive to getting a lot of kids through the lunch line quickly," explained Director of Public Relations and Communication Terry Schuster.
Now, traffic in the lunchroom should flow much more efficiently, with multiple freestanding carts set up so students can quickly grab what they want, such as pizza or sandwiches. The cafeteria will also be able to offer more food options than before.
In addition to a more-efficient setup, the new space also has a fresh, modern look, designed by Eppstein Uhen Architects.
"The new look is much more modern and updated. I think that our students will really like what we have done with the space," said Galante.
J.H. Findorff & Son completed construction on the new cafeteria in 10 weeks over the summer. Until now, the new look has been kept under wraps, so students can be surprised when they walk into the new space on the first day of school Friday, Sept. 1.
The new space was paid for, essentially, by the many lunches the district served over the years, since the $1.1 million for the project was funded through the food service account.
The proposal was approved by the school board March 8.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel