CLOVER, S.C. - High end coffee, wraps, smoothies, even sushi. You may not remember school lunch sounding that good, but the menu at Clover High School is changing.
"The excitement is extremely high," said Rod Ruth, Principal at Clover High School.
A space used as a secondary cafeteria at Clover's applied sciences building, is now much more.
"It's the Clover Student Union," Ruth beamed.
Principal Ruth says exposing students to college life as early as possible is their goal.
Much like a student union you would find on a traditional college campus, Clover's version will be a place to hang out, study and eat. However, the idea of serving coffee at a venue catering to teens did raise some eyebrows.
"The natural thought: Do they need caffeine? Do they need coffee? Well, they are stopping at other local spots and they are getting that before they come here," said Bryan Dillon, spokesperson for the Clover School District.
Ruth says there will be safeguards in place to make sure students don't abuse caffeine.
"With each degree of freedom you award young people, then there needs to be a degree of monitoring that goes along with that freedom," he said.
Transforming the cafeteria into a coffee shop with couches, high top tables and a new counter cost the district about $97,000. However, they expect it to pay off in many ways.
"We have the ability to have unique items for sale. That's really a small portion of the bigger impact that I can have," said Ruth.
"We will have classes in here. We will have teachers have the ability to sign up to use this area for their classes," he explained.
He also says students can use the space during flex time to study or participate in study groups. Some students will have a chance to go behind the counter.
"We have a culinary arts program on campus, and so the ability to partner that and do some work-based training with those students that have that as a career interest down the road, we already have that established," he said.
The Clover Student Union will officially open August 10th, just in time for faculty's return to campus.
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