The Roundup -

West Side's Addition Of A New Cafeteria Opens Up Plenty Of Possibilities For Staff And Students

 

The addition lets in lots of natural light, leaving students saying, "It's like eating outside!"

On Monday, February 29 the new cafeteria opened its doors to students and staff at West Side Elementary in Sidney. The building project, which began in May of 2015, is part of a long-range facility plan which addresses the needs of public schools in Sidney. Each school has a committee made up of six community members including the principal of each school, teachers, business professionals, and community leaders. The school committees are the result of a Community Crossover Event that was held about ten years ago as oil activity began to pick up in the area. "We were in a situation where using the gym during lunchtime took an hour and a half out of P.E. time and there weren't enough P.E. blocks for all 16 classrooms," explained Principal Jon Skinner. "We were looking at cutting back on P.E. time, but no one wanted that."

In addition to the needed availability of the gym, the cafeteria is also multifunctional and can be used as flex-space for group projects, challenging kids in specific subjects, and by preschool classes.

Students get a longer lunch hour because there is no hurry to clean up for P.E.; the new cafeteria frees up an additional 90 minutes of gym time.​

The new space has lots of windows to let in the natural light and students have commented that it's "like eating outside." Kitchen staff are quite happy with the cafeteria, as well, noting that the kids get a longer lunch hour and that there is no hurry to clean up for P.E. A new kitchen with all new appliances is an added bonus and everyone agrees that the acoustics of the room are much better, making for a quieter environment.

The school has had ongoing renovations having recently had the interior roof lined to address leakage and doing classroom renovations. The 300 wing was the final wing to be remodeled and when it was complete the school board decided to move forward with the addition of the cafeteria. Initial plans included building the cafeteria and a Kindergarten Wing to address the quickly growing school size, however, as the population stabilized, plans for the additional wing were put on hold.

B & B Builders was contracted for the building project and is currently working on the finishing touches, which include dirt work and putting in sidewalks.

Teachers plan on making the most of the extra space and are excited about its possibilities.

"As we go I am sure we'll find more and more uses for it," Skinner said.

 

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