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The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

The Student-Run News Site of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. Keeping you WIRED in to all things Westside.

Westside Wired

Hungry for something new

Cafeteria to undergo major renovations

There’s been a recent stir in Westside as the discussion of future renovations begin. The long awaited changes to the cafeteria are finally here.

“The last time the cafeteria had a renovation was in the year 2001,” Principal Jay Dostal said. “At that time, Westside had about 1700 students. We have 2100 students now and the capacity for the cafeteria is 385.”

The district felt like they needed to address the problem by expanding the cafeteria towards the parking lot. The plan is to keep the iconic wall of windows and move out without taking up parking space.

“There will be a variety of different types of seating,” Dostal said. “ We sent an email to students to get an idea of how many peers they like to sit with so it’s not going to be all round tables anymore.”

With the renovation, the cafeteria will be able to seat around 600 students due to the responses Dostal got to the email he sent. Dostal explained how it was interesting that the primary replies were that students wanted to sit with 4-6 peers per table. 

“The process of trying to figure out the seating arrangement, taking into account the square footage of the cafeteria, was interesting too since some students wanted standing options and even booths,” Dostal said. 

Dostal says that the main interest is to address student needs with the cafeteria like finding a comfortable place to sit. Nothing much would change with how the lunch mods are now. Having different types of seating will allow students to have more variety in where they would like to go. 

“The message that came back from students was to create a ‘town square’ type of feeling because of how much time they spend in the cafeteria,” Dostal said. 

Looking past seating issues, there’s not a good place to host school dances. The main gym could work but it causes problems with the wood floors. Dostal explained how the administration isn’t just looking at the cafeteria for lunch, but also as a town square so dances and community meetings can be held there as well.

“We want to create that type of townsquare feeling since students spend a lot of time in the cafeteria and we don’t really have a place like that,” Dostal said. 

These renovations will begin soon. The restroom renovations will be starting this summer and will be carried over into the next summer.

“In order to coordinate all of these renovations without taking away school time and shutting down the building completely, the cafeteria will be one of the last projects that will be started,” Dostal said. “2025 to 2026 seems likely but I won’t know for sure until we see how the rest of the project goes.”

In Dostal’s previous experiences at Kearny High School and building a brand new school, a very similar process was conducted in asking students what they wanted. They wanted a university commons, almost like a coffee shop environment. 

“To see our students wanting the same as those past students isn’t foreign to me,” Dostal said. “It’s breaking away from what our traditional norm of a cafeteria looks like.”

Although major changes are being made, Dostal has no interest in changing the features that Westside has fallen in love with.

 “It’s going to look a lot different,” Dostal said. “However, we are going to tie in some of the features that make it the Westside cafeteria because it is an iconic look.”

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About the Contributors
Shiloh Wertheim
Shiloh Wertheim, Lance Staff
My name is Shiloh and I've been on Lance for about a year. My favorite things are sunsets, rainy days and sleeping.
Carson Kelley
Carson Kelley, Production Manager
Hi, I'm Carson Kelley. I play baseball and tennis here at Westside. This is my third year in WTV and I enjoy being a production manager in this program.
Burke Brown
Burke Brown, Reporter
I am Burke Brown, I am a Sophmore. This is my second year on WTV. I love playing baseball but I also love watching sports. I am a huge Nebraska Cornhusker fan.
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