Airport-inspired countertops are being installed at Hayes High School to make room for the influx of new students in the fall.
Delaware Hayes High School Principal Brad Faust said he recently ate lunch at an airport and was intrigued by the configuration of the space, designed to move people in and out efficiently.
"We are obviously trying to develop more space for our students, and I had begun thinking about how airports move people in and out so quickly," he said.
Faust said he thought the same idea might work at Hayes, since the building will welcome roughly 105 more students this year than last.
The installation of three new countertops will make room for about 40 students to eat and work -- while standing up -- before moving on to their next class or meeting.
Faust said he believes this method will be a more-efficient way for students to eat and work while still congregating in the cafeteria with each other.
"Students like to work on their electronic devices during lunch, and this is a great way for them to do what they like to do as well as create more space," he said.
Faust said many Hayes students are in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, and others have tutoring sessions during lunch.
"Some students rush in from college courses at the last minute or have to get to a tutoring session and they just need to grab something to eat quickly," he said. "This will accommodate their needs."
Although the cafeteria already offers Wi-Fi, the new renovations will add places for students to plug in their electronic devices.
In addition to the countertop spaces, the high school is adding casual "pub-style" seating and study areas throughout the building where students can work or congregate before classes start.
The school anticipates its population growing by 75 to 100 students each year for the next several years, so using the space efficiently is important, Faust said.
The high school also will add a class period to its regular school day. The eight-period class schedule will begin in the 2013-14 school year.
"Our teachers have agreed to teach an additional course and we are able to spread out the class sizes by having one extra period per day," he said.
Faust said the changes in the cafeteria and the schedule will be beneficial in dealing with overcrowding and the new students next year.