The learning space is an essential aspect of the whole educational experience in education. As a result, schools are becoming more intentional about designing physical spaces and providing learning opportunities for students. This year at Grace School, transforming the cafeteria was part of an effort to incorporate long-term flexibility to support student collaboration and creativity.
Last summer, renovations to the cafeteria took place at a furious pace. Supported by gifts from the 2020-2021 Annual Fund, the newly renovated cafeteria space – known as “The Commons” – was ready to welcome students during their first week of school.
Welcome to The Commons
The Commons features a new open concept kitchen with a new bistro-style serving line, updated flooring, new lighting, and café style outdoor seating. It will also feature new hideaway tables to provide seating when needed and tucked away for more open space.
The vision to revitalize the cafeteria was to create a multi-purpose space designed to meet the ongoing needs of our students and teachers. When not in use during lunch, the room will be used for various essential functions – community hub, classroom extension, and the Grace After-school Program.
“Multi-purpose social spaces that combine food service, individual workspace, group meeting space, and recreation are the wave of the future”- Liz Walgamuth, Ed.D., Head of School
“Multi-purpose social spaces that combine food service, individual workspace, group meeting space, and recreation are the wave of the future,” said Liz Walgamuth, Ed.D., Head of School. “The cafeteria will not only provide an opportunity for social interaction but also for continuing education in an environment outside the classroom.
Cafeteria Designed with Students in Mind
At Grace School, our vision is to inspire compassionate, thoughtful students eager to engage in the world around them. In relentless pursuit, we continuously transform the learning environment to meet the needs of 21-century learners.
Improved effectiveness begins by understanding there are several ways to use school spaces. From lighting to adaptable seating and efficient use of the area, the design and use of these seemingly simple assembly spaces are pretty complex. Traffic flow remains a high priority, so every piece of moveable furniture, food service equipment, and the serving station is thoroughly thought out.
“It’s all about providing a space that offers not just delicious food, but also a pleasant atmosphere that extends the classroom learning experience,” said Walgamuth. “The Commons will serve as a vibrant point of connection for students, faculty, and staff – a place to gather in small groups and as a community.”
About Grace School
Grace School is a private Christian school in Houston, Texas, serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.