Education Case Study: Gettys Middle School

Sally Nicholson is the Director of Student Nutrition Services at Gettys Middle School located in Easley, South Carolina. The school recently was relocated to the district's old high school.


In light of this move, the school wanted to make this space feel like their own. Nicholson was granted approval to renovate the existing cafeteria and was given full autonomy by the Board to execute these changes. The school wanted a solution that would be budget friendly and completely turnkey.


The Interior Systems design team was given full creative freedom. The team envisioned a cafeteria that would have a natural flow and be inspiring through the incorporation of bright colors and energizing graphics. In order to maximize the space to its full potential, a varied seating option would need to be applied.

The previous space was not very welcoming with its dark color scheme and drab folding tables. Large pillars were also stacked throughout the entire space creating a confusing flow when it came to serving students meals.

A fresh coat of white paint was used to cover the dark blue of the cafeteria. Light green accents were added throughout the space to elevate the mood. The pillars were repurposed to showcase bold, character words and circular tables wrapped around the pillar legs to optimize seating in the awkward space. With creative seating options and space planning throughout the cafeteria, more room was given between tables and special queue lines were installed to offer a more intuitive flow to the cafeteria lines.

Nicholson couldn't be happier with the results. ISI stayed right on budget and everything was completed on schedule, if not ahead of time. The staff noticed a positive change in the behavior and attitude of the students. Food fights had diminished and yelling decreased. With the new layout, lunch times also run much smoother. Reports show that breakfast participation had increased from 11% - 21% and lunch had risen from 66% to 77%.

Reports show that breakfast participation had increased from 11% - 21% and lunch had risen from 66% to 77%.

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