COVID-19 was a time of growth and reflection for many. This includes KIS, where many new features were added, both in the online learning platform as well as the physical school. The most exciting of these was the cafeteria renovation. The student body as well as the staff spend a lot of time sitting in the cafeteria, enjoying the classic school food. The whole atmosphere of space is completely new now; with the marble sinks, the central chandelier above the serving counter and the wall art on the staircase.
Shortly after the pictures of the new cafeteria were posted on the school’s Instagram account, the student body was abuzz with excitement. Students who arrived in February were welcomed by a brand-new look. The best part is the upper deck, which is an outdoor dining area that overlooks the whole campus. This space was mostly used by the school’s seniors and quickly became their favorite spot.
Now, as part of Phase II renovations, there are even newer additions to the upper cafeteria, which was further renovated during the summer holidays and was completed shortly before the students came back to school. The upstairs meeting room has been expanded into another section of the upper cafeteria. It also connects to the outside deck, as well as the main part of the cafeteria. This new section has a sink of its own as well as a small lift that ferries trays and food up and down.
The interesting thing about the new parts of the cafeteria is that the layout is completely different, which makes it a refreshing change. The intent behind the open yet private layout is that the space can now be used for a lot of collaborative activities and meetings besides just serving as a dining hall. It is now a dynamic space where the school community will get together. The outer deck has wooden tables with benches and the covered section upstairs has long tables with comfy chairs and even a small seating area with cushioned armchairs. In addition, there are two tables that have their own semi-private enclosures, with mirrors on either side. This aspect gives the new section an especially upscale vibe. The chairs that once had no backrests and hard seats are no more; instead there are armchairs which encircle each table. This makes lunches comfy and enjoyable, along with the consistently amazing food that is served there.
The nicest thing about the fully renovated cafeteria is that it carries the nostalgia of the past and doesn’t seem detached from its roots. The walls and ceilings are covered with pictures and sketches of KIS through the ages. There are images from Kodai’s past; the school campus, graduated classes from the 1900s, and even pictures of the wildlife.
Sitting in a fun cafeteria with so many bright colors and themes makes the area really feel more like home. During the pandemic, Kodai was able to think ahead and instead of allowing this phase to cause a setback, the school used the time to renovate the cafeteria and make this bright new addition to the campus, amongst other things. The warmth that the cafeteria now emits really allows KIS to be the student’s home away from home.
Maya Sarkar (Class of ’22)
Photo Credits: Rishabh Aachath (Class of ’24) and Mr. Prem T. (KIS Biology Teacher)