GREENVILLE — Students at Greenville High School did more than just pick out color schemes for a new cafeteria and common area.
They helped design the entire project.
“They have given much input, and their perspective has been valuable,” Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Pete Haines said.
The students from Marc Nelson’s computer aided and design class had the opportunity to meet with architects, look over preliminary options to consider what items they liked best and even used Google Sketchup — a 3D modeling program — to make some of their own designs.
“I think it’s cool that we got to make models of the sketches in Google Sketchup,” said senior Jesse Hamman, adding that it didn’t take very long to do.
Nelson said students got to see what they did and did not like about the design as they worked on the drawings and programs.
“I like the fact we are helping with a big project,” senior Aaron Rickle said. “This is a big thing for our school.”
Outside of Nelson’s class, other students were chosen to give their ideas about the new cafeteria and student common area.
Greenville High School Principal Jeff Wright said a male and female were chosen from each grade level to give their opinion about the design.
Senior Peter Lindenman said students were given several designs to look at and decide what worked and what did not. Students tried to mesh the designs together to have a little bit of everything included.
One thing students could not change in the cafeteria was the tile floor.
“We had to work with the floor,” senior Kayleen Sorensen said. “We were told it is too expensive to take out.”
Sorensen said when starting the project, one thing students agreed on was adding more color in the cafeteria to replace the current white walls.
“It’s cool that it is designed by (students) and not administration,” junior Caleb Wolfe said of the project.
Junior O’Malley Bosanic said she is excited for the new glass wall in the cafeteria in place of the current windows.
Sophomore Hailey MacMillen said it was cool to see students’ ideas in the design.
“When looking at the designs, you can see everyone’s ideas,” MacMillen said.
Although this was a fun project for the students to work on, it was a learning experience as well.
Students said they came up with many ideas, but they had to focus on items that would keep the project within budget.
“We found out it’s a lot more than just saying, ‘Here’s the design, now build it,’” Sorensen said. “We had to work within a budget.”
She said as a group, students were very good about spending money and looking at what they could do to get the most for their money.
MacMillen said they ran into some problems such as working around items that had to stay, including support pillars, the number of doors for fire escapes and more.
“We had to incorporate all of that (in the design),” MacMillen said.
Sophomore A.J. Ebels said he was grateful for getting to participate in the design process.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity given by Mr. Wright to get to give input,” Ebels said.
Haines said the cafeteria and student common-area designs are complete and construction on the courtyard, where the common area will go, is expected to start long before school is out for the summer.
During construction, only two classrooms will be affected but one classroom already has moved to avoid the impact.
“We also expect some of the outside work for the cafeteria expansion to occur well before the end of our school year, with connection between new and old held off until we are done using the cafeteria in June,” Haines said.
Wright said it was important to get students involved because they are going to be the ones using the facilities.
“We wanted to make it a place where (students) want to stay,” Wright said.
The new facilities are expected to be completed and open by September.