The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

Missing Furniture in the Senior Cafe

Photo Credit: Lucy Stephenson

The Senior Cafe has been around for decades and has become a significant part of Harwood’s culture.  The cafe is a place where Harwood seniors can go in between classes, to eat lunch, and to hang out with friends. 

The cafe is located in the middle of the school with a big and bold sign being the first thing to see when you walk through the front doors.  For as long as we can remember the cafe contained a row of cafe-style booths that seniors could eat at, and many different options for seating including tables and chairs, bean bags, and a high counter with stools. 

This year when the class of 2024 arrived, much of that furniture was gone.  All that was left were a few tables, the counter with stools, and three chairs.  That was all that was left for this class of 100+ students.  

The lack of furniture in the senior cafe has been an issue for the class of 2024 this school year, and seniors have struggled with finding a place to eat lunch.  Kate’s Garden is nice, but there isn’t enough furniture for everyone there either.  If something doesn’t change, senior classes in upcoming years will face the same challenges as well.  

To clear up the issue, I spoke to one of Harwood’s co-principals, Meg McDonough.  When asked about the booths she says,  “Facilities felt they were in very poor shape and we felt strongly that we needed to remove the booths because they had just seen their day.”  The problem now is that the booths were never replaced, leaving students with just a few tables and chairs to sit at.  Which begged the question: What’s next for the Senior Cafe?

“I think there was some interest expressed by the senior class about potentially putting money towards this as a senior gift, and ideally doing it sooner rather than later so you could enjoy it this year, and then pass it on to next year.” Meg McDonough adds.  

She also hints at possible plans to involve the people who remodeled Kate’s Garden saying that “[administration] asked them to come in to do a mock up of different options for the Senior Cafe of different furniture, and to get us the quote. We’ve been waiting on it.  Unfortunately, for some reason it’s not coming through as fast as we were hoping.”

So the short answer to the furniture issue is that there are plans to remodel and get new furniture.  When the quote for the furniture comes, however, is really where student participation is needed.  Especially from this year’s seniors. 

Meg says “we would love …[to get seniors’] feedback in the same way that we did Kate’s Garden”

As of now, the administration intends to keep the senior cafe the same for the years to come, but with the new bond vote there is some uncertainty.  The furniture that we get to replace the booths and tables needs to be adaptable to whatever the bond creates.  Meg explains, “What Lori and I have been doing very actively, as we have been bringing new furniture into the building and painting and doing new carpeting and so forth, is making sure that every decision that we make is very flexible. So that depending on the outcome of the bond, we’re not spending money in different areas that will then no longer be used in that same way.”

She finishes by saying, “We want to make sure it’s a usable space, and we also need to make sure we’re all working together to make sure that it’s a respected space, right? So that it can sustain annual wear and tear, and be passed on to the next class.”

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