We've come a long way from fish sticks and mystery meat.
unveiled its gleaming new $2 million cybercafe Thursday night with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception prior to the Board of Education's public hearing.
The new cafeteria seats about 300 people and includes 15 computers for students to do work or surf the web, while grabbing lunch.
School Superintendent Charles Sulc described the new dining space as "probably the most contemporary cafeteria facility for high school students anywhere in either county and possibly in the state."
It comes equipped with tables, booths and game tables, where students can play board games such as checkers, chess and backgammon. There are several flat screen TV's mounted on the walls and music will be pumped into the room.
The cybercafe area also comes equipped with lounge chairs and ottomans.
"I know of no other facility that has a cybercafe that's associated with a cafeteria, so it's a wonderful environment for kids to come to," Sulc said.
The school is going to update its menu to reflect student tastes when it begins serving meals on Monday. The Superintendent said that the dishes will be more "contemporary" and will even include sushi.
Parents sought input from parents, school employees and especially students, according MHS principal Dr. Barbara Williams.
"It's really been a collaborative effort," she said. The facility that we had provided hadn't really encouraged them to come. So we're going to take a look at the types of things that they want to see here and get them," she said.
Williams said they also want to offer students an inexpensive alternative to lunch options in the area.
The cafeteria itself comes at a hefty price tag, but Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock said it will not come at any additional cost to taxpayers since the funds were taken from unused money from previous bonds. It was originally hoped that it would be completed shortly after school opened, but it was delayed a few months. There are still a few finishing touches to be added such as window curtains, Sulc said.
The final cost of the project was $1,993,269.97, Adcock said.
At Thursday's meeting, the board also approved a $12 .6 million energy performance contract with Johnson Controls, designed to make the buildings in the district more efficient.
The contract will pay for itself, according to Adcock.
"It's funded with state aid and savings realized by the improvements that are going to be installed in the school buildings," he said.
Adcock explained that the contract requires state approval. If it is approved the state will cover a little more than 53 percent of the costs. Johnson Controls is guaranteeing the remainder of the contract costs, meaning that they will make up the difference if the district doesn't save enough in energy costs to cover what they owe on the contract.
The contract covers the installation of a temperature control system that will include a computer program to regulate the temperature in every classroom so that heat isn't unevenly distributed. It also covers the installation of more energy efficient lighting, new burners for boilers and roof replacement at several schools.