Sitting a little closer this year

The closure of the commons creates packed seating in cafeteria


Tim Galvan

Even though this photo shows some open tables, the cafeteria has been crowded this year. Construction closed the the commons, so students only have one designated eating area.

By Allegra Wesson, Editor in Chief

    Without the commons this year, students are finding themselves packed into the cafeteria or trying to find some place else to eat.


    Principal Andy Van Fleet and the rest of the administration prepared the cafeteria for the transition by including more tables and adding three other spots to order lunch, including one at Four Corners.


    Still, many students feel frustrated with the situation, with common complaints revolving around the seating or the longer lunch line waits.


    “I think the current lunch situation is way too crowded and needs to be expanded. If juniors can’t drive and leave campus, there should be more space,” junior Sophie Petitjean said.


    Some feel like there’s simply not enough room for everyone.


    “I think it is really crowded and there is not enough room for everyone so many people sit outside and in the halls,” sophomore Rachel Denham said.


    But Van Fleet assures students that the situation will be improved with recently ordered bistro tables. Fifteen to 18 bistro tables will be placed in the cafeteria, by Four Corners, and by the library.


    “When these bistro tables come on board, that just gives…another option, and I think that will help some students out significantly,” Van Fleet said.


    He also believes that when the rain comes and students are no longer able to sit outside, the bistro tables will help to relieve some of the crowding too.

    Additionally, the administration is considering adding benches or picnic tables in the breezeway or in the hallway by the senior benches.


    As for the lunch lines, Van Fleet said, ”It feels like it’s been longer, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been too long that kids can’t get a meal in time.”


    Van Fleet also surveyed the cafeteria with a fire marshall to determine the area’s safety, and although the marshall agreed that it seems crowded, it wasn’t deemed unsafe. Van Fleet mentioned the fact that there will be more administrators and security to look over students in the cafeteria, as they no longer need to patrol the commons.


    Security guard Pete Kostel agrees that the situation is better than last year safety-wise because of the higher concentration of security.

    Kostel has also noticed a possible benefit that comes with the removal of the commons.


    “I’ve seen kids that are sitting at tables together who probably never knew each other before. Some only ate in the commons and some ate [only in the] cafeteria before,” Kostel said.


    If students don’t like eating in the cafeteria, they have the option of sitting outside or eating in the main halls. Juniors and seniors with a lunch release can still eat off campus.


    When the new commons space is eventually completed towards the end of the construction, students won’t have to deal with a cramped eating space anymore.


    “I too, am frustrated, but at the same time, I’m excited and optimistic,” Van Fleet said. “It’s a temporary inconvenience for what’s going to be serving our students in an incredible way for the next 20 or 30 years. So it’s just one piece of construction that we’re just going to have to work through.”