The Common Grounds

The Charger Commons welcomes a new refreshing establishment.


Ana Garcia-Cabrera

The Common Grounds located in the Charger Commons

Ana Garcia-Cabrera, Staff Writer

The Charger Commons, a place on the Suncoast campus, which many students and teachers enjoy, has a new addition to their already unique interior. Three years ago, Librarian Amy Armbruster had the job of remodeling the media center. Because of this, she wanted to know the wants of the students. One of the considerations was a coffee shop. Things such as conference rooms were approved but  the coffee shop was delayed as a result of the coronavirus. The Common Grounds has become a reality for many of us to enjoy!

The Common Grounds wouldn’t be able to come to life without the help of a few people. Our Suncoast Chargers have had a huge part in making the Common Grounds into what it is today. Senior, Jerry Bard had a great impact on this project. With his experience of being a part time barista he helped with ideas such as the products that should be used and the brewers that could be implemented in the project. With his help as well as others, A. Armbruster’s project to create the Common Grounds was established via a nonprofit organization called DonorsChoose. The project was $650 and was eventually funded by two people. The goal of this project is to not only serve free coffee for hard working teachers but the proceeds go back into the commons and helps pay for many resources that students use such as noodletools, a platform used for MLA citations and other resources dealing with research. Their own sales are able to fund for the teachers free coffee, under circumstances where it isn’t enough, the profits made from the coffee machine in the commons are used. 

A. Armbruster stated, “I am very excited, we got our brewers, coffee grinders, and cappuccino machine.” 

In a project like this, teamwork has to be one of the key parts you need to have in order for success. Students at Suncoast volunteered in order to be a part of this project, this makes up the team they are currently. I am glad to say that this team really works hard to get to their goal. While attending a meeting I was able to see how inclusive everyone was especially when it came to producing ideas. Everyone has a role and those roles are all essential. 

Senior Ella Armbruster, for example, is the staff manager. She is in charge of coordinating the schedule for the staff and overall helps others stay relatively organized. E. Armbruster states, “It’s been fun, everyone has been cool and I believe all of us want to succeed.” She also stated, “I hope it eventually makes good profit in order to allow more funds for the Commons in general for things such as books,  materials, and new technology.” 

Benjamin Whitfield is the general manager, he works with the different manager heads to make sure everything runs smoothly. 

Whitfield stated, “It’s been very amazing being able to work with the other managers, it’s exciting” as well as, “I think the Common Grounds are going to give us a way to connect with the student body as a whole. In addition, all the funds we make will be given back to the Commons in order to buy more books and really grow what the Commons is currently.”

Many people are not aware of the benefits of being involved in a project like the Common Grounds. It is a great way to earn volunteer hours while benefiting Suncoast at the same time. Not only this, the environment created is truly one that is inclusive. 

An important thing to know about the Common Grounds is the attempt to make it more eco-friendly. This will be able to be done with the use of punch cards, which students can buy via school cash online. One punch would amount to $1 and two punches would cost $2. Bringing your own 12 ounce reusable coffee cup will be considered one punch but if you purchase coffee with a cafe disposable coffee cup it would be $2. Along with that, Espresso shots are $2 while cappuccinos are $4. This being said, prices for teachers will still be free. Bringing your own cups is encouraged! 

The health of our chargers is something which is considered important especially with the coronavirus still being a growing issue. It is a relief that the staff is making sure to take this into account. Cleaning down areas and making sure utensils are safe enough to use is something they strive to do along with their eco-friendly goal. 

The Common Grounds has been set to fully open Tuesday, March 22, 2022 in the morning from 7:00-7:25 a.m. A. Armbruster said, “It’s going to be a really good cup of coffee.” Save the date and do not be afraid to stop by the Common Grounds!