Rich South High School, Cafeteria Addition

Richton Park, Illinois

The Rich Township High School District 227 community is expected to increase its student population over the next decade. Because of this expected growth, the district is expanding and renovating its three campuses: Rich South High School, Rich East High School and Rich Central High School.

As part of the expansion, the cafeteria addition at Rich South High School ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY450COST PER SQ FT$307.69FEATURED IN2008 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized an auxiliary entrance into the school for the increasing student population. It also creates an environment for social gathering that has large and small dining settings. The addition is 26,000 square feet with seating capacity for more than 450 people. Flexibility in space utilization after hours also was important. The design features widescreen monitors, overhead video projection and a sound system. The addition is composed of the main dining hall, faculty dining, honor student dining and a state-of-the-art food-preparation area.

Another important objective of the design was to embrace the existing circular memorial. The architect created an open and inviting plaza as a focal point where the southeast corner exterior wall culminates into a reflective quarter circle. The memorial plaza is defined further inside the main dining hall by the layout of the ceiling, flooring and seating arrangement, which radiate from the southeast corner.

To foster a sense of pride and ownership among students and faculty, consultants conducted focus-group sessions to help define the food-court concept for the cafeteria. The result is a vibrant array of colors and inspirational images. The variety of seating styles and arrangements are conducive to positive student interaction in today’s education environment.