Despite renovations beginning last May, the soon-to-be renamed Columbus Hall is not finished in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year due to significant delays encountered at the beginning of the construction process.
The installation of a fully functional commercial kitchen is expected to be completed sometime in November.
“It will be completely different than what was previously experienced in that space,” Geoff DeSantis, Director of Physical Plant, said about the results of the renovations.
The new kitchen, which will take the place of the bathrooms and storage cabinets, will allow SAGE Dining Services to cook and prepare food at the Pine/Octavia Campus.
“Now that the lunch program is part of everyday life, we need to provide that atmosphere, that kitchen and that full functionality for the students and faculty,” De Santis said.
After the renovation is complete, new circular and rectangular tables will be set up in Columbus Hall to provide a variety of seating options for both students and faculty.
“Given how limited the old space was, it was often hard to find a place to sit during lunch,” sophomore Gregory Kosmowski said about previous Columbus Room conditions. “I think that the renovations along with the schedule change will solve this problem.”
The School is implementing a new lunch schedule with about half of students eating after their second period class at 11:25 a.m. and the other half eating after their third period class at 12:50 p.m.
“Given the space that we had here previously, the variety and options were pretty limited,” DeSantis said. “Without a doubt, the quality and the option is going to be significantly higher than in past experience.”
Food is presently cooked and prepared at the Broadway Campus’ kitchen and then transported to the Pine/Octavia Campus for lunch.
“The quality and the selections are going to be exactly what you see on the Broadway Campus,” DeSantis said about lunches once the new space is complete..
SAGE Dining Services’ lunch offering at the Broadway Campus includes a daily hot lunch option as well as a variety of cold options, including both a sandwich and salad bar.
“Before, the Columbus Room did not feel like a cafeteria,” sophomore Liam Ahn said. “Although I am upset the completion is delayed, I am excited for the results. It will be a great space for the whole community to gather.”
School meetings and assemblies will also take place in Columbus Hall after renovations are complete.
“I would say that the vision of President Krejcarek is what brought this forth,” DeSantis said.
Stuart Hall High School is nearly a 20-year-old institution, and this is the first major renovation that has taken place in the Columbus Room since the school first opened in 2001.
“I can’t wait,” DeSantis said. “As it seemingly transforms daily, that’s when pride kicks in, and crews are working really hard to finish it as soon as possible.”