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New cafeteria awaits LHS students

A long-awaited project is finally coming to a close at Luverne High School as students will see the new 11,000 square-foot cafeteria on Monday.

According to LHS Principal Chuck Alford, the new cafeteria will hold 427 people at one time, which is 100 more than the old cafeteria.

“It’s more modernized,” Alford said. “We’ll have two continuous serving lines now which will make things much more accessible for both the students and the employees.”

The project began around Christmas 2007 with the tearing down of the old Ag building. Alford said there is still some outside work to be finished, and one more sidewalk to be put in between the old cafeteria and the new one, but he’s hopeful that everything will be ready to go come Monday.

“We’ll use the old cafeteria for storage,” he said. “Our dream right now is to make that into a computer building one day.”

Alford said that students can expect strict enforcement of cleanliness on the new, elaborate deck that has been built just outside the new cafeteria.

With the larger space, extra seating and the two serving lines, Alford said they’ve been able to cut out one of their lunch waves, from four to now three.

“The fifth and sixth graders will be eating with the seventh and eighth graders now,” he said.

Alford also asks that students be patient and extra careful when it came to the outside construction and clean up efforts.

The cost of the LHS cafeteria project is $1,903,972, according to Schools Superintendent Kathi Wallace.

In addition to the new cafeteria, LHS’s auditorium got a complete facelift this summer as the old seats have been taken out and replaced with 500 portable seats. LHS had $50,000 for the auditorium project.

Even though the school lost about 70 seats, the new ones are wider and are cushioned. Since they are portable, the auditorium will become a multipurpose facility as it will be used for testing, proms, spring sports ceremonies, and other events.

“We’re very excited about that,” Alford said.

The carpet was also removed, and the hardwood floors underneath have been refurbished.

When it comes to new surveillance equipment, Alford said that eight new cameras have been installed on the campus, bringing the total to 16.

“It’s all about safety and monitoring who is on and off the campus,” he said.

Four additional cameras were placed in the gymnasium, one of the “hot spots” on campus.

“The camera doesn’t lie,” he said. “It settles a lot of disputes.”

Crenshaw County students begin school Monday, Aug. 10.