PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Peekskill High School now has Internet access throughout the building, with no strings attached.
District officials were joined Tuesday night by state Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson), who provided a $75,000 grant for wireless Internet access to accompany technology renovations made at the school over the summer.
"I try to make a real commitment to this community, and every time I've been to Peekskill I've been impressed by the feel of the community and everybody working together," Ball said. "As long as I'm your senator I will continue to make investments and whatever I can do, and there's more where this came from. This is why I'm here."
Peekskill Superintendent of Schools James Willis said the high school was long overdue for the renovations. The wireless network accompanies $600,000 worth of bond improvements to the high school, much of which will go toward creating an alternative education center at the school.
The $600,000 also paid for infrastructure improvements and Smart Boards for classrooms, but did not leave funding for wireless Internet access for students and faculty, Willis said.
"The middle school has very high technology infrastructure to it, and the kids were coming out of eighth grade and into ninth grade, and they'd be dropping off again into a 1960s type of environment for technology," Willis said.
The district also held a symbolic ribbon-cutting Tuesday for the new high school cafeteria, which opened to students last week. While the cafeteria is not yet fully operational, students have new chairs, tables and benches. The new kitchen will serve a wider variety of prepared foods to students.
"The wood benches are all brand new, all the serving lines are brand new – the ceiling, the windows, everything," Willis said. "The hot lunches will be in a week, two weeks at the most. We're just waiting for this big serving line to come in. That just came in Saturday night."
Ann Brady, president of the Peekskill High School Parents Club, presented the school with a 43-inch television for the new senior lounge in the cafeteria. The club is selling car magnets to help raise funds for additional school projects, and Brady encouraged the community to buy them.