Student union construction begins phase one

The Newtonite

by Jared Perlo
During the past two meetings, Student Faculty Administration members discussed the ongoing effort to transform a section of the cafeteria into a student union, a place where students can hangout and relax.
Last week’s meeting focused on selecting a winner for the design competition in which students, faculty and parents had the opportunity to submit designs, which the SFA reviewed.
The winning design was created by sophomore Liran Bromberg, a member of the SFA.
In addition to being awarded a $100 gift card co-sponsored by Whitsons Culinary Group and the PTSO, Bromberg will guide the SFA as it amends and adopts his proposal in future meetings.
In today’s meeting, the SFA mainly deliberated on the logistics of the student union, such as budgetary restrictions and how to comply with the fire code.
Principal Jennifer Price, along with the help of parent Claudia Wu, looks to double the student union’s budget. She said, “I think we could have a budget of about $6,000.”
Even with the increased budget, Price expressed the need to drastically cut and re-engineer the proposed design. She said that she predicts that the total cost of implementing the current design would be $20,000.
Price encouraged members to continue brainstorming ideas of how to slash the cost, suggesting the use of cafeteria chairs in place of the much more expensive proposed wooden seats, also found in the library.
In addition, Price suggested that the SFA gets in contact with art classes to increase the decoration of the student union.
“This is the time of year when senior art students start putting their murals up around the school,” she said, encouraging members to lobby for the murals to be placed in the student union.
At the conclusion of the meeting, several members expressed their doubts that the project would actually get started on this year, so Price suggested forming a sub-committee to fast track the union’s development.
“I think we need to get a sub-group of people to do this. We need some students who are going to roll up their sleeves and get dirty,” she said.
English teacher and chief innovation officer Stephen Chinosi said he would help get the construction process off the ground by being a forefront faculty member of the new committee.
“I’m in,” he said.“I know we can do it.”
According to student co-chair Caleb Bromberg, the first phase of the union’s creation will be talking to carpentry classes to inquire about the construction of some of the union’s features, such as the elongated bar-style counter.

Phase one would also include starting a dialogue with the custodial staff to ensure the space will be relatively easy to clean.