Editors Note: The changes mentioned in the article are all tentative and subject to change through the planning period. The Knight Rider will report any major changes as soon as we can.
As students returned to class on Monday, they were greeted by some changes. The new bookstore, which opened at the end of the fall semester was full of students, but the biggest change was the closing of the canteen. These are the first in a series of renovations that will be done to the student lounge in the coming months.
According to Student Activities Director Ben Kramer, nearly every part of the lounge will be renovated or rearranged. The change that will have the largest impact on students is obviously the closing of the canteen. According to Kramer, it was not New River’s choice to close the cafeteria but the choice of the operating company. The company claims that the cafeteria was not making enough money even though several students have complained that the food that was sold there was too expensive. To help make up for the lack of food, the school has installed a sandwich vending machine and another microwave for students to use in addition to the vending machines which are still in place.
Kramer was eager to share the plans for the renovations for the lounge. The gate, walls, and counters of the former canteen will be removed, and what used to be the kitchen will be opened up and will become Kramer’s new office. Now that the corner office will be available, the Student Government Association will be moving into Kramer’s old office and their small cubicle will be removed. Once the canteen area is open, the vending machines will be moved outside Kramer’s new office, and the walls of the lounge will be given a stone finish. A fireplace will be installed in the corner near the bookstore, and the old couches that line the walls will be replaced. In addition, the curtains that run through most of the lounge will also be moved. These changes will provide a very open environment in the lounge with easier access to the various offices.
Unfortunately, these changes mean that some parts of the lounge will have to be closed off at several points during the semester, but Kramer assures that no more will be closed off than absolutely necessary. Once a construction plan is finalized, a mock-up of what the lounge will look like will be released and Kramer expects the renovations to be finished by June.
Although the canteen has closed, it is the first step in an exciting series of changes that will hopefully lead to a better looking and more open lounge area for students to enjoy. New offices for Ben Kramer and the Student Government will provide much more space for both to expand, and a new look for one of the most popular areas in the school will make 2009 an exciting year at New River.
By: Ian Huff