WCHS’ Hawks Nest reopens

Back to School News      Print News Article

After a two-year hiatus, the Hawks Nest Cafe at Westerville Central High School has reopened.

A line of students trailed outside of the space 20 minutes before the start of classes Tuesday morning. Food service staff marked the occasion with freshly-baked chocolate muffins and sold a variety of custom-made sandwiches and flatbreads as well as beverages not offered at the cafeteria.

The Hawks Nest had only been open for six weeks in 2020 before it was shut down because of the pandemic. With its reopening this week, the cafe joins Westerville North High School’s coffee shop in offering students a unique space at school. 

Westerville South High School will closely follow with the debut of a new coffee shop once the Joy Rose Media Center opens. 

The district’s Food Service Department proposed the high school-based coffee shops as a way to provide students with more opportunities: Students could gain work-based learning experiences by promoting the space, working in the shop or partnering with them on projects. Those who don’t have a traditional bell schedule now have a more flexible option for food and drinks. Students no longer needed to leave the building for their coffee drinks.

At WNHS, for instance, the coffee shop is part of its Cardinal and Gold Union — a college-like student union that offers students opportunities for collaboration or a place to study or relax. 

Food Service leaders garnered support for the idea from the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee at all three high schools, the Westerville Parent Council and the Board of Education. The department covered construction/renovation and equipment costs for the coffee shops at WCHS and WNSH; The construction of WSHS’ coffee shop is part of the building’s renovation and construction project. 

Staffing challenges have made it difficult for Food Services staff members at WCHS and WNHS to open the coffee shops until recently. WNHS staff was able to finally open the coffee shop at the start of the school year.