If it wasn’t for the constant hum of teenage conversation and the occasional raucous laughter, you’d almost think the ultra-spacious and modern cafeteria at Muscle Shoals High School was just a strategically placed trendy eating establishment where the clientele enjoys the combination of atmosphere and good food.
But teenagers do fill the space and it is their school cafeteria, just transformed into what their generation has come to expect from any food provider.
The child nutrition programs in school systems across the country are taking seriously the need to stay current not just with federally-required food items for students but with the cafeteria setting and atmosphere.
For many systems that means overhauls from kitchen equipment to the dining area. Other systems do less in the way of renovation but still achieve the sought-after comfort and usability of a more upscale school cafeteria.
Muscle Shoals High School updated the cafeteria prior to the start of school this year, making it more student friendly. It’s in keeping with the national trend.
Sheffield High School renovated its cafeteria about seven years ago, while Rogers High School in Lauderdale County did the same two years ago, focusing heavily on art murals and seating that allows for easier student socializing.
The child nutrition program directors in all those systems had the same hope in modernizing their facilities: To be more appealing, on all levels, to students.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.