Darien High School cuts ribbon on new cafeteria

On Tuesday evening, the Darien High School cafeteria was opened and revealed. A small ceremony took place to introduce the opening.

Board of Ed member Jill McCammon began by thanking everyone involved including project team members Erik Kaeyer, Travis Schnell, and Sue Davidson of KG&D Architects, Paul Drummey, KSR team members Steve Kraus and Jay Vieilette, Jaclyn Sammis and Meg Ritchie for their interior design plan, the board and interim superintendent Dr. Elliot Landon and others in the administration.

McCammon went on to explain that the building committee had three goals. The first was to expand from having 302 to 420 students per lunch period, which was completed by taking over the faculty lunchroom and expanding the space towards the field. The second goal was to improve the acoustics and lighting, which was achieve by implementing three different acoustical panels on the ceilings and wall. New lights were installed and the NANA window walls also fulfilled that.

The third goal was to “allow for flexible use of the space."

McCammon pointed out the different seating configurations from tables of different sizes to banquets and counter seats and the lounge area.

"There could be multiple uses of the space. Not just lunch, but also work throughout the day as well as events," she said. 

Darien High School principal Ellen Dunn spoke briefly saying, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of your students. We often say schools are for children. I think this room describes that beautifully. This space was designed for our students.” She continued, “The fact that we could use this as a multipurpose space will be a gift that this community has given to this school for many years to come.”

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson also spoke saying, “First and foremost, I want to thank Jill for the incredible job on this. She ended up sharing what ended up being a very complex project.”

She went on to say that the space will stand the test of time and that this project was just a warm up as the new Ox Ridge School will be their next focus.

Board Chairman Tara Ochman spoke saying, “This is a project when Michael Harman first brought it to the board with Dan Brenner that went through a lot of scrutiny. With that I think we have come out with a fantastic final project.”

She continued saying that it’s the best of what Darien can do when they all cooperate and the Darien children are the beneficiaries of that. She finished by thanking the Board of Ed members for all their work in additional meetings.