If something good comes from a process in which people work together, then Marion High School students and staff are on the verge of sweet success. Lucas King’s construction class hopes to put finishing touches this week on the new school coffee shop, located in the northwest corner of the high school library.
Students primed, painted, and stained counter tops, cabinet sides, and sink shelves on Monday, taking turns as class schedules allowed.
“All the hard stuff is done,” King said. “Now it is just finish work and we should be done by the end of the week.”
King said that chiseling out thick cement blocks on part of the back wall to install plumbing might have been the hardest part of the project. Nevertheless, it was all good hands-on experience for his class, which handled all phases of the remodeling project.
“It’s just great how things came together so quickly,” said teacher Megan Thomas, whose entrepreneurial class planned the whole coffee shop project. “Having the construction class do all the work was just huge in terms of making this all an affordable, doable project.”
Thomas said the coffee shop will open once their supplier brings the cappuccino machine.
“We will sell three flavors of cappuccino, regular coffee, some fruit smoothies, and then cookies, muffins, and beef jerky,” she said. “Students will bake the cookies from frozen dough every morning, but the muffins come pre-packaged.”
Student workers will serve food and drinks on a maple counter top that the construction class salvaged from wood shop workbenches.
“We were able to recycle the benches by planeing them down ½ inch and refinishing the nice maple wood,” King said. “They look really nice now.”
Librarian Lori McLinden was happy to see how the work was progressing, even putting up with hammering and construction noise in the normally quiet room, glad to be part of the facility improvement process.
“All I had to do was make room,” McLinden said. “We had a lot of reference books on shelves there that no one used anymore. We just purged the shelves. These things can all be found online now. By moving some shelving around, we have a nice corner for this project.”
McLinden said she had 41 students come through as part of library classes on a normal day, increasing traffic flow through the area with the addition of the coffee shop seemed like a good idea to her.
“We try to keep the noise level down, but these are high school students and I don’t mind a little talking,” she said. “It’s how we learn.”
After the finish work is done, King said there would be a grand opening of the coffee shop for students, staff, and patrons.