Clarenceville closes campus for lunch, opens new $1.5 million cafeteria

Clarenceville High School students Harry Zhen and KellyWilson don’t like that they won’t be able to leave campus for lunch this school year, but they like the new$1.5 million cafeteria they’ll be eating in.

“It’s amazing,” said Zhen, a senior, of the 6,000-square foot cafeteria with bigscreen televisions and wifi access built on the school’s former courtyard. “This is very well-executed. It was not what I expected.”

“I think it looks really great,” said Wilson, a junior. “It’s bigger and it doesn’t have just tables but cocktail-type tables.”

Zhen andWilson viewed the cafeteria for the first time last week, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by school board members, Livonia Mayor Jack Kirksey, state Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia, other dignitaries, students and parents.

The Clarenceville School District serves students in a portion of Farmington Hills. School board Vice President Matt Boettcher said he had been wanting to close the campus for lunch since he was first elected in 1997.

“As a lawyer, you see liability everywhere,” he said, of the dangers of letting students drive to and from restaurants during the middle of the school day, with them often getting back to school late. But there were two problems: tradition and space, he said.

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