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Cafeteria remodeling starts next week at Nicolet High School

Updating will include new round-table seating, ceiling

June 14, 2007

Nicolet High School students will barely be out the door for summer vacation when workmen will be in to create a virtually new cafeteria.

"I think it's going to be a lot more inviting and something the kids can take pride in and that the community can, too," said Brian Reiels, director of facilities.

The new furniture, flooring, ceiling and walls will harmonize, he said. Uihlein Wilson Architects designed the new space. Earth tones will be the predominant theme with a Nicolet Knights bright blue stripe boldly rolling along the ceiling.

Also, the cafeteria will expand into the flag-draped atrium, with brick walls and wooden benches to be removed.

Work will begin next week, with completion in mid-August, in time for fall school registration. The cost will be $410,543.

The cafeteria is being updated because flooring issues are becoming a safety problem, the furniture is showing its age, and there is a desire to replace the glass with safety glass, Reiels said.

The floor has been patched a lot, but it is getting hard to keep up with it, Reiels said.

Round tables will replace the long rectangular ones.

"The kids indicated they would like round-table seating," Reiels said.

The round tables will accommodate eight people, as opposed to12 at the long tables.

Lighting also will be more energy efficient, Reiels said. The lights will be programmed to dim when the cafeteria is not in use during the day and automatically shut off at the end of the day. As many as 16 switches have to be dealt with to get the lights off, Reiels said. The school also will be able to turn half the lights off or dim them.

The new ceiling also will help conserve energy.

"You can gain a tremendous amount of lighting by having a new ceiling," Reiels said.

The white in the ceiling will reflect the light, so fewer lights will be needed and the lights will be energy-efficient, he said.

Tempered glass will replace the plate glass separating the B-wing hallway and the cafeteria.

The cafeteria renovation is in the school's 12-year capital plan.

"This is one of the busiest spaces we have," Reiels said.

Not only do the students eat there, but juniors and seniors have their study halls in the cafeteria.

The remodeled cafeteria might even be more attractive for groups to rent, which would benefit Nicolet's bottom line.

Groups already use the cafeteria such as Little League, Special Olympics and a church holds services there, Reiels said.

- Jane Ford, Staff Writer

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