Café Construction: DECA to renovate current café and work with architects on new design

DECA to renovate current café and work with architects on new design


Christina Yang

During SRT, sophomore Thomas Dziwlik makes coffee for café customers. Drew Seketa, DECA president and senior, said the new café will allow students to enjoy their drinks sitting down in the café.

Adhi Ramkumar, Reporter

Café Construction

DECA to renovate current café, work with architects on new design

The current Carmel café will be undergoing renovation and construction beginning in May and lasting until August when school will start. Students and faculty are currently discussing designs with the architects who will be involved with this project.

Andrew “Drew” Seketa, DECA president and senior, said the current café has a variety of issues. He said some of these problems include lack of room to sit, which is causing many seniors in the new Senior Transition Schedule to gravitate towards the library. DECA wants to bring them to a café setting in which students can work and collaborate in a quiet area.

“We have no seating available right now, and our size of the café itself is too small. In essence, we’re running out of a storage closet,” Seketa said.

Isabella Yallapragada, café customer and sophomore, said, “The waiting lines are really long. Sometimes it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get tea or coffee. It’s a good idea to renovate the café, and having it as an option to go to would be pretty nice. It’d be nice to have a really nice setting, outlets and better coffee.”

Richard “Chard” Reid, DECA sponsor and business teacher, said, “(The café) was always designed as a retail space, and there just wasn’t the proper amenities to be a café. We kind of started with a small list of things, and we decided to redesign the place so, functionally, it will operate like a café and will allow production to be a lot more efficient.”

According to assistant principal Joe Schaller, discussions with the school board began in the fall, and conversations among DECA members and students regarding updates occurred around September. Based on these meetings, a prospective panoramic-view design of the café was created in late January, and the design is currently being updated.

However, according to Seketa, it is imperative that decisions that are made about the café are in consensus with regulations that have been set by the government. He said DECA does not want the café to become a “food-service area,” which would bring more regulations to follow.

Schaller said, “Nutrition of the items sold is a very important factor to keep in mind, and cleanliness is also something we must take into account with this renovation.”

Seketa said, “With any design or renovation, you’re going to have so many details you need to take into account, and we want to make sure that everything is perfect and it can last for a long time.”

In addition, the café will see changes next year as a part of DECA’s goal is to create a center of entrepreneurship for students.

“We’re going to be having students sign up for independent study shifts who receive full-weight grades and keep the café open throughout the day,” Seketa said.

Seketa said he hopes the timeline will work out, as the café makes a lot of revenue due to back-to-school sales.

Reid said, “In a perfect world, we want to close down shop May 1.”

However, Reid and Schaller said students will not be affected much by the construction, as most of it will happen in the evenings and summer.

Schaller said, “I think the renovation will make the Carmel café a much more welcoming area by lessening the amount of traffic there and making it an option for students to go to.”