School board mulls options for cafeteria fix

Ideas such as moving 6th grade to high school, building new gym discussed; for time being, schools decide to shift TES cafeteria times

By Per Peterson
New District 2904 School Board member Jay Fultz (left) was welcomed by board chairman Rod Benson during Monday’s meeting.

Sixth-graders at the high school? It could happen in the future, and if it does, it would go a long way to resolving Tracy Elementary School’s ongoing cafeteria/gymnasium issue.
The District 2904 School Board on Monday evening discussed the possibility of shifting  sixth-grade classes to the high school. The move would open up space at TES, which could potentially turn the first-grade rooms into a cafeteria at an estimated cost of $150,000.
Another option discussed Monday was building a new gym at the elementary school.
Those more grandiose plans, however, are just that. For the short-term, TES will implement a new lunch rotation in hopes of easing the burden of setting up and tearing down for the lunch periods.
The school board at its January meeting voted against spending about $900,000 to add a cafeteria to the school, thereby eliminating the need to use part of the school’s gym as a cafeteria. After that plan went down, TES Principal Michael Munson said he started studying alternatives, and on Monday offered his recommendations for gym/cafeteria reshuffling.
Munson said the school is currently beginning lunch set-up at 10:45 a.m. for an 11 a.m. lunch service. The biggest issues during lunchtime at TES are the time it takes to set up and take down at lunch, the drying time of the new floor after it is cleaned (it retains more water than the old floor) and having one person doing all the clean-up of the gym.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.