Lunch Room Revamp: New Tables


Since Lakes Community High School opened in 2004, they have continued to use their original lunch tables without replacement. The school found no problem with this until the custodial crew and Ken Mlincsek, the Head of Facilities, recently noticed a couple of issues. 

They brought these issues to principal, Jori Bowen, and expressed their concerns for the safety of the students at the high school.

“The custodial crew talked to [Mlinscek] and said the tables aren’t closing anymore, so they’re not safe for [the students] to be sitting at,” Bowen explains. As the tables have become problematic, Bowen wanted to explore a solution to this problem to ensure the safety of the students.

Bowen decided that the next step would be to get new tables for the lunchroom. After looking at many different catalogs and doing a lot of research, she decided on a final choice.

“They are going to be kind of rectangular-ish tables. So they seat 12, but they’re almost more of ovals so that you can see everybody at the table,” Bowen states. Bowen’s goal was to find new tables that would still remain round so that conversation between students is not cut off from one another. 

When asked how Bowen decided on this design for new tables, she explains that she had the table company send in different testable tables and set them up in the McKay Center. While students were in gym class, they were able to try out different tables and find which they liked the best. 

Bowen initially thought that all of the students would want a table with separate chairs, but “one hundred percent of them wanted this table. They liked it better than the round table and they were very pleased with it,” Bowen explains. 

After receiving the student feedback, Bowen advanced with her new design for the cafeteria. Bowen worked with the table company to calculate the maximum number of lunch tables that could fit into the lunchroom. 

Bowen is not planning on using all of the tables in the lunchroom at once, but she does want the room to remain functional since the lunchroom is used for much more than just as a cafeteria.

“We wanted to keep it very much kind of a multi-purpose use room because sometimes cheerleading uses it, there are practices in there for dance, there are art shows in there, so we wanted to make sure it was a room you could still clean out,” Bowen states to explain her thought process. 

Caroline Doyle, a sophomore at Lakes Community High School, expresses that her only concern with the table may be the comfort level. 

“I just think that they look a little bit uncomfortable,” Doyle expresses. But freshman, Dev Bhatt, believes differently than Doyle.

When asked if Bhatt had any concerns about the table, he replied “No, because the more people that could be seated at the table would save a lot of time for like janitors,” Bhatt responds. Bhatt’s opinion on the lunch tables agrees completely with Bowen’s initial thought process. 

Although some students may disagree with the changed lunchroom tables, “the tables are 20 years old, they are originals to the building. It’s just time. You know they certainly lasted a very long time,” Bowen concludes.