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High-tech lunch at Massapequa High

Derrick Guzman and Jessica Teresco, seniors at Massapequa

Derrick Guzman and Jessica Teresco, seniors at Massapequa High School, surf the web together in the school's cyber café every day at seventh period. Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Derrick Guzman and Jessica Teresco sat at a computer enjoying their lunch and “Googling” Teresco.

The seniors eat together every day at seventh period in Massapequa High School’s new cyber café, part of the school’s $2.1 million newly renovated cafeteria.

“It’s a nice, relaxing spot,” Teresco said. “There’s computers, and you can actually eat here.”

The café, which boasts 15 computer stations and a printer, takes up about one-third of the cafeteria. The rest features coffee house-styled seating -- comfy chairs, high-top tables with checkerboards painted on, relaxing lighting and the hum of wall-mounted, flat-panel monitors featuring anything from student-produced content to ESPN.

“We were going for a college atmosphere,” said Barbara Williams, the school’s principal.

The cafeteria’s renovation began last May and was funded by a bond set aside for the project in 2007. Bob Schilling, the district’s executive director for assessment, student data and technology services, said the Massapequa School District began bidding for contractors shortly after receiving the bond. The state of the economy allowed the district to get a good deal for the work, and leftover funds from the bond were used to build the cyber café.

Massapequa is an “open campus,” meaning students can leave for lunch. But since the cafeteria reopened the Monday after Thanksgiving, students have been eating in more often.

“I would always go out; I would never eat here,” said Amanda Kelly, 16, of Massapequa Park. “Now, I’m totally OK with eating here.”

Kelly said her mother is also quite pleased with the money she has saved since. Along with the students’ financial windfall comes some bragging rights.

“I’ve told a couple of my friends about it.” said senior Dominic Domonte. “They hate us for it.”

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