Dec. 1—BATESVILLE — After spending months carting food across the school's campus, renovations of the Batesville High School cafeteria recently reached completion.
Students moved from the Fieldhouse back to the cafe for breakfast and lunch during the first week of November.
The cafeteria staff of eight is led by Cafeteria Manager Jenny Meyer. Meyer's staff expected the renovations to finish by mid-October during the school's fall break, but the project was extended by a couple of weeks.
During construction, only cold foods were served. Since the pandemic began, Meyer's staff has been portioning servings into bags in adherence with safety measures surrounding public dining.
With the project's completion, students are now being served hot lunches again. The cafe staff was recognized by Superintendent Paul Ketcham at the November 15 school board meeting for their patience throughout the process.
Today, the only pre-renovation items left in the cafe are the tables, which will soon be replaced as well.
The ceilings were blacked out and large swaths of dropped ceiling tiles, lights and ventilation all painted in the school's colors now modernize the once outdated lunchroom.
More than 300 students at a time can dine in the updated cafeteria. New lightweight chairs surround the tables. The walls were opened up to create an open concept layout of the room.
The area at the end of the lunch line with the ala carte food and cash registers was a blind spot for teachers before the renovations. Floor to ceiling windows and three roll-up doors now line that hall.
"They started in mid-June," Meyer said. "And of course it looks much nicer now. It's easier to clean. The chairs are easier to move and we're not walking across the school with lunch."
Another area of the school was also recently updated: the Student Commons. Booths and more tables line the hall out of the Fieldhouse and leading over to the cafeteria.
BHS Principal Andy Allen previously said that the Commons allowed new space in a desirable area for students to congregate. Seniors are allowed to take their lunch out of the cafeteria and eat in the Commons if they wish.
Josie Clark: email@example.com or 812-651-0873.