BFA’s Refreshed Cafeteria

BFAs refreshed cafeteria
Photo credit: Kaylee McKenzie

BFA’s refreshed cafeteria Photo credit: Kaylee McKenzie

Kaylee McKenzie, Contributor

The bright green and yellow walls have been retired as new improvements have taken place in Bellow Free Academy’s cafeteria, with fresh shades of grey and neutrals taking over. 

The remodel was done over the summer, while the students were away, with the new seating following during the second week of school. Options for seating now include booths, high chairs and contained tables so peers can talk in a close setting.   

Inspiration for the remodel came from Bellows Free Academy Principal Brett Blanchard. “Lunch is a really important time for students,” Blanchard said. 

Blanchard added, “When I walked in there, for me, it looked like a disrespectful environment [in] which high school kids were being treated like elementary kids.”

The remodeling of the cafeteria couldn’t have been done on its own. According to Blanchard, students Lydia Hodgemen (‘22), Kate Reilly (‘22), Taylor Reyome (‘22), Maya Frost (‘23), Rachel Ledoux (‘24), Penelope Noza (’24) and BFA Facilities Manager Len Smith helped with the interior design of the cafeteria, alongside Pete Symula, BFA’s woodshop teacher, who completed the paint job. 

The company Exterus met with Blanchard and reviewed the space.  From there, they set up the floor plan and blueprints for the remodel. 

Bellows Free Academy students have commented on how the new cafeteria has opened up opportunities for better conversations and friendships to be formed.  

“ [The cafeteria] provides students with a more welcoming environment and place to converse with friends,” Georgia Casavant (22’) said.  

Michel Telfer (22’) added that, “[The cafeteria] was a good investment on the school’s part…The new cafe has, and will be, largely appreciated by old and new students.” 

Since it is important to treat high school students like the young adults they will become, Blanchard said, “Show respect, get respect.”