Yorktown Elementary Cafeteria Addition

Yorktown Elementary School is increasing the size of the cafeteria by one third during the summer of 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 9.35.15 AM

In the graphic, the kitchen is on the far right, and the cafeteria is to the left of the kitchen, and the 1/3 addition is the yellow portion.  From Google Earth, the existing cafeteria roof measures 80x47ft, but this roof also covers the school stage.  Counting the 2×2 acoustic tiles from inside the cafeteria gives a 61×48=2928sqft area.  A one-third bigger expansion will bring it to 3904swft and will move the front wall about 20 feet towards the driveway in the front of the school.  One item discussed at the March 21 school board meeting and the  community meeting was that although this expansion was scheduled to be finished during the summer of 2016,  the timing of  committing funds missed the window for the designing and completion of building during this summer.

This expansion is intended to increase the cafeteria capacity to help cover the  2009 brick-and-mortar expansion of 10 additional classrooms to the core capacity of YES, which expanded the school from about 20 classrooms to 30.  At 25 kids/class, the “Original Program Capacity” was about 20 x 25 = 500 students.  In 2009, the new addition added 10 x 25 = 250, or 50% to bring the core classroom capacity to near 750.  The cafeteria addition is not sized to cover the 6-room temporary capacity provided by the trailers on the left, nor the 4-room planned modular building in the rear.

If the original cafeteria was sized for an “Original Program Capacity” of 500, then  a 1/3 increase would bring its capacity to 667 students.

To increase the capacity by 250 students over the original, the YES cafeteria should require a 50% increase, if the cafeteria was adequate to begin with.

The current cafeteria is about 61×48=2928sqft, and at the current state standards, it sized for about 292-366 students per seating.   Expanded to 1/3 bigger will be about 3904 sqft, or sized for about 390-488 students per seatingCompared to the standard, the October 2015 enrollment of 713 has about 3.9 sqft/student, well short of the state guidelines of 8-10 sqft.  If the new enrollments from the expected development bring the school to the expanded 834 students, the post-addition area of 3904 sqft will provide about 4.7 sqft per student.

To also accommodate the 6 temporary classrooms in the trailers, plus the 4 classrooms in the new (2017) modular unit, the (6+4) x 25 = 250 should require an additional 50% increase to the cafeteria.

Looking at state standards  (see page 22), a cafeteria designed for K-5 students should provide 8-14 ft^2/student, with the low range at 8-10 using high-density rectangular tables with attached chairs, which is what YES uses.  At 500 students, that standard would have required 4000-5000 sqft to provide 8-10 sqft per student, so it was insufficient as-built.   At 734 capacity, we need 5872-7340 sqft, so it is even less adequate. After adding the 100-student modular building, this produces a 834 student capacity, and would require 6672-8340 sqft total area, or an expansion of 127-185%, or 78-112 feet, instead of the planned 20 foot expansion.  An addition of 78 feet would bring the front wall of the cafeteria out to the curb of the bus loop.  YES is planning to supply sub-standard cafeteria space.

Since in 2016, we currently have less than half of the recommended cafeteria area. To adapt to the current overcrowding, YES has stretched out the lunch scheduling across the school day, and has implemented a silent lunch scheme to reduce the noise.  After the addition and the expected new students, the area per student will not be much more–3.9 vs. 4.7 sqft/student is 20% more space–but still sub-standard, with 58% of the minimum area.

If a 5th grader met less than 60% of the standard, they would earn an ‘F’.   York county’s plan for this addition to be less than 60% of the expected need should be graded at least as hard.  With this plan, it appears that York County isn’t aiming to provide the tools for success for students at Yorktown Elementary School.

I hope that I am mistaken in my understanding and conclusions in these back-of-the-envelope calculations, but I do not currently see how.

Update 2016-04-13:

The state standards for cafeterias apply a per-seating factor adjustment, with an estimate of of 2.5 seatings per day for the continuous phased system YES currently uses.  With this factor, the existing size of 2928sqft can accommodate a school enrollment of 732-915 students at 8-10ft^2/student, and the expanded size of 3900ft^2 would accommodate 975-1218 students.

I’m a bit chagrined that I missed the seating factor, but I’m also surprised that none of the people I have shared this with recognized the problem.

Still, there are areas which do not appear to meet the state guidelines for the October enrollment of 713–Multi-use hard surface play areas (p.22),  fenced PK-1 play area (p. 2),  usable size within building lines (p. 5),   etc….    The standards have example requirements for elementary schools in Appendix B, and a “Capacity Worksheet” for an elementary school in Appendix F.   I wonder if anyone has filled out the worksheets for the county schools to see how they measure up?



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