As planning commenced for their 50th year high school reunion, the Class of 1971 wanted to show appreciation to their alma mater for the quality education they received. Class organizers reached out to the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation to see how they could help.
The Foundation keeps a list of potential projects, both needs and aspirational, that donors can consider supporting. The Class of 1971 elected to raise funds to provide outdoor seating and landscaping for the new Red Devil Dining Court.
The Red Devil Dining Court was remodeled and opened in 2019. The space can accommodate approximately 450 students at a time. When all students are onsite, enrollment is approximately 1,100 students. Beginning in August 2021, a new lunch schedule was introduced, providing three lunch periods including one dedicated to junior high students. Campus is now closed for lunch, meaning that all students stay at the school for the lunch break.
Wanting to give students more space due to Covid concerns this past school year, students had the option to eat lunch outdoors, sitting on the grass or sidewalks. Principal Ron Shriner and other school leaders suggested the addition of picnic tables and making this outdoor area more inviting for students at lunch time.
Another goal of this added space is to provide students a place to take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and return to the classroom feeling refreshed. As new classrooms and facilities are added indoors, this project renews the landscaping as well. During their class reunion weekend, class members toured the school and were able to see the beginning work on the outdoor area and the dedication rock to commemorate their gift.
The Class of 1971 has made tremendous progress towards their goal. To date, they have raised $41,500 from 33 class members. Outstanding! Class members are committed to reaching their goal and we have no doubt they will.
The West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation and today’s Westside students congratulate the Class of 1971 on their 50th year reunion and thank them for their very generous gift!
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