by Billy Bannon
In previous years students would wait in a single, lengthy line to purchase a meal and then hastily consume it before the bell rang.
Students had to race desperately against their peers, and time, simply to fill their stomachs for the remainder of the school day.
Empty stomachs, and the students they belonged to, could be heard grumbling all afternoon.
Since the capital campaign, From Generation to Generation … The Tradition Continues, of 2001, it has been the school’s goal to build the Moran Fine Arts Center and renovate the many of the campus’ older buildings.
The school raised an impressive $10.7 million and began construction on the Moran Fine Arts Center, which concluded in 2003.
Year by year, additional work has been done to renovate the campus buildings one at a time.
In most recent years it was the main building and the Schill Learning Center.
This year, important renovations finally took place in the cafeteria and the history classrooms above.
Stepping into the cafeteria, students immediately notice the substantial difference.
Natural light floods through the large, double-paned windows lining the walls, illuminating the room and creating a more relaxed atmosphere.
“I remember there was this one guy in my summer achievements class who tapped on the cafeteria window and it broke,” sophomore Daniel Shekari said. “The new ones are more durable, longer lasting.”
In addition to the windows, the lunch line has been split in half to quicken the pace at which students receive their lunch with the installation of a second serving line.
The back wall has been partially removed to create a second counter where hamburgers and french fries can be distributed efficiently.
“The cafeteria, both inside and outside, is much more attractive and energy efficient,” President Rev. Ronald Schwenzer, C.S.B., said.
The renovations, which include new ceiling, new lights, new ceiling fans and new windows, cost a grand total of $71,500. The windows alone cost $41,200.
Not a single cent of what the students spent on tuition covered the costs; the funds for this project derived entirely from the capital campaign.
Response to the changes have been generally positive. Students, such as senior Sebastian Gracia, are able to collect their meal quickly and enjoy it at a leisurely pace.
“It’s faster,” Gracia said. “It’s a lot more organized. It’s beneficial to the students because we get our food faster. We don’t have to cut our lunch in half because last year we only had ten minutes to eat.”
Some students like the improvements but think that the student council is failing to tackle the main issue in the cafeteria: high food prices. Schwenzer realizes that a majority of the students are discontent with the prices.
“The students always have issues with the food,” Schwenzer said. “My suggestion is, if students have complaints or suggestions or improvements, that they work through their student representatives on student council and they can get to (Director of Student Activities Joe) O’Brien to apprehend, then he can see if these are realistic.”