The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize the parents and staff who championed the completion of a new lunchroom dining environment at Rowayton Elementary School. With the successful renovation of the Rowayton Elementary School cafeteria, students can now enjoy a meal in a bright updated environment, which promotes healthy living and a positive social experience.
When entering the transformed space, students are met with a sky-blue ceiling, large acoustical white clouds, and energy efficient lighting. Appropriate to our community on Long Island Sound, the cafeteria has a nautical theme complete with blue-green walls, and paintings of hundreds of multi-colored fish swimming toward large portholes. Each porthole displays a large photograph of a familiar scene from the Rowayton community.
This high traffic space is used for six lunch shifts, and before and after school programs. The old wooden gym floor has been completely covered by thick wood-look vinyl flooring. This material requires no maintenance beyond daily washing, and is a great labor-saving feature.
Students sit at round tables, with attractive yellow chairs enabling inclusive social interaction. Above the doors to the serving area is a long yellow and white-striped decorative awning, which nicely matches the yellow chairs. New garbage and recycling barrels, in the school colors of yellow and blue, also add to the functionality and cohesiveness of the space.
School spirit is an important part of the Rowayton culture. Now, above the stage, a nautical flag spells R-O-W-A-Y-T-O-N. Along the front of the stage apron and along the wall opposite the server are rows of nautical cleats, which are used as coat hooks for students.
An updated menu offers students nutritionally balanced meals including various flavors of smoothies. Students also have a salad bar option for lunch.
This is also a green project, as a new dishwasher has enabled the use of reusable serving trays and metal utensils in place of disposable Styrofoam trays and plastic “sporks.”
The exceptional transformation of this space will further support learning and provide an inclusive environment where students can thrive both socially and academically. As part of the Board’s commitment under the Strategic Operating Plan to improve school lunch quality and the dining environment, the Rowayton Cafeteria will be used as a model for renovations at other schools.
The Board of Education proudly recognizes Rowayton parents Aimee Ableman, Heather Schneider, Silvia Doyle and Gina Legnani, who spent countless hours organizing this project and shepherding it through to completion. The Board also recognizes Rowayton teacher Melissa Petropolous, who was the teacher representative on this project, as well as Interim Principal Joe Rodriguez, Curriculum and Instruction Site Director Rob Pennington, Whitsons Culinary Group, and the NPS Facilities Department for their support of the project. We thank them all for their vision, dedication and commitment to excellence.