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Fountain Rock has waited long enough for a cafeteria

August 10, 2006

We agree with the members of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Fountain Rock Elementary School - it's time for a cafeteria there.

For those unfamiliar with the school, it has no cafeteria because a previous administration decided that having a library was more important. And, because the school had an "open" design, clustering all those students in one place for lunch seemed an invitation to distraction.

And so, for years the students went to the kitchen to pick up their meals, walked backed to their classrooms to eat, then back to the kitchen to return their trays.

To do this, students walked past open classrooms of students trying to pay attention.

The process has since been tweaked a bit, by using disposable plates and utensils. When the students are done eating now, they dump their trays in a trash barrel, then stack the trays.

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But if students are still eating in their classrooms and passing open-style classrooms, it follows that they will not only be distracting some other students, but also spilling things in the hallways and the classrooms.

When parents complained to The Herald-Mail about this in 1995, they asked if a capital improvement fund could be created so that the school could be renovated before 2000.

It didn't happen, but they were told that an endowment fund could be created with the Community Foundation of Washington County.

As with the North Hagers-town High School Stadium project, private individuals could contribute to a certain school system project, retaining enough control to prevent the cash from being spent on anything else.

Some parents might say: Why should we raise money for something other schools already have built with our tax money?

We agree. The school system should find money for this project, but it took North High decades and some outside help to get its project going. It all depends on how long parents are willing to wait.

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