Former OFHS classroom houses credit union, concessions stand

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School store should open by November

What do a concession stand and a credit union have in common? At Oconto Falls High School, a renovated classroom will be a credit union by day and a concession stand by night — with a school store yet to come.

A ribbon cutting was held Aug. 31 in a little-used classroom converted into a concessions stand and school credit union.

The concession stand, located across from the field house, officially opened Thursday for a home volleyball game, one of an estimated 40 indoor events in which food and refreshments will be served from the former math classroom.

With the transition to one-to-one technology, which puts a computer device in the hands of every student, an OFHS computer lab was closed. Once a math classroom was moved to the defunct lab, space was available for the renovation.

Oconto Falls School District athletic director Jerry Moynihan said having one room dedicated to concessions will reduce the time needed for setup and cleanup and provide a permanent storage space for the snacks, drinks and the bulky popcorn machine.

“It’s going to save me and volunteers … hours and hours of work,” he said.

Volunteers from various school organizations will work at the concession stand and share the profits. The sale of concessions brings in $150-$160 per event, Moynihan said.

The renovation work, completed by Spaulding Construction, included the removal of a trophy case, busting down a wall to make an opening to a school corridor and the addition of a counter top and wooden, roll-down door.

The $15,000 cost of the renovation project was completely covered by donations. Contributors are N.E.W. Credit Union, Bellin Health, the Oconto Falls Hoops Club, Oconto Falls Youth Wrestling, ST Paper, the Oconto Falls Friends of the Arts and Sam’s Club. A portion of the profits will be placed in a scholarship endowment fund.

Oconto Falls School Superintendent Dean Hess called the project a classic example of people coming together to help students.

“It not only makes some of the day-to-day operations a little bit more efficient, but it also provides financial stability and sustainability for kids,” he said.

Moynihan envisions a school store, developed and managed by students, opening by late November. Spirit wear, school supplies and other merchandise will be sold.

During the lunch hour when school is in session, N.E.W. Credit Union will maintain a student credit union in the room. The credit union opened its OFHS location 10 years ago and most recently served the students and staff from the coat check room in the high school commons.

Laura Schenkoski, director of marketing for the credit union, said the new facility provides a more prominent presence at the school and a better atmosphere for customer service.

“It’s more spacious. More inviting,” she said.

Though it’s considered a limited branch, the school credit union provides a variety of financial transactions for students and staff, including the transfer of funds, check cashing, withdrawals, deposits and loans.

Lexy Thomma, a senior at Oconto Falls High School, is the student teller for the school year. She plans to pursue a career in nursing, not banking, but said becoming familiar with financial management is beneficial for someone her age.

“It’s a good idea to start early, saving-wise, even if it’s just change or little amounts,” Thomma said. “It all adds up.”

“Students need to start honing their financial picture … so they can have financial success in their own lives,” Schenkoski said.