Empty and isolated sits the spot of the Ralph’s shopping center where the gas station used to be. Every morning, we drive past it on our way to school, or pity it from a distance when walking with our friends to a late lunch at Bagel Me. The vacant corner of the lot seems to be calling to us, “Build something- I’m dreadfully lonely!” At first, the city was planning on adding yet another bank to the large collection in the shopping center that neighbors Villa Park High School, but it appears that that plan has been put off. So, what’s next for the little lot? Spartans predict and wistfully wish for what they believe should be installed.
Sophomore and golf team star, Casey Paul, answers, “Starbucks, because they could do, like, ten percent of each purchase goes to the community and or VPHS to help clean it up and update the technology and stuff. Basically, what Measure K was gonna do.” What a rad idea, Casey. I can picture it now. A student-run coffee shop earning proceeds while teaching Spartans how to work for a business and earn pocket money would absolutely rule!
Kate Graham, sophomore hipster, gives her opinion on the matter- “I think they should put a bookstore there, because we already have food and coffee and I need a place where I can buy books. We have a library, but it has inconvenient hours, and it doesn’t have a very wide selection.” I totally agree, Kate! A used bookstore with that lovely, musty book smell would fit right in in quaint Villa Park, and would be a super cool place to hang after class.
Writing Club creator Brandon Ngosays that he’d add “A small park. Parks are great; Villa Park’s Parks and Recreation should be more than happy to take on the job!” Imagine having picnics or a playground, adding a little greenery to the busy shopping center.
Tracey Chiem, sophomore, spilled that “I’m not sure how big the area is, but it would be nice to have a store like Target. I think it would also be successful, since it’s next to the school, and is close walking distance. But if not, then probably another food place.”
Lauryn Carter, Intermediate Dancer, voiced “I think it would be cool to put a malt shop right there. There used to be one in that center that got taken out, and I think it would be somewhere else kids could go after school.” YesyesYES, Lauryn! An old-fashioned malt shop, just like the one that used to reside inside what is now the Villa Park post office would be an awesome throwback.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to envisioning what could be created, from widely-known commercial chain companies to small, cozy businesses. Whatever ends up being built on the asphalt plot that was formally the Villa Park gas station will definitely be a fantastic addition to the community, and a wonderful neighbor to our school.