JACKSON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It's the first day of school and that normally brings a mix of excitement and nerves, but in Jackson County it was also a new beginning as the county opened their brand new high school building.
"It was kind of odd at first coming in here and not going to the old school, but coming here, it's really neat," said Kelsey Nicholson, a Senior at the school.
Nicholson and fellow senior, Emily Sizemore, said they are in awe over their new classrooms.
"I miss the old one but it's nice to be somewhere new," admitted Nicholson.
"It is so exciting being in this new school with so much new technology," added Sizemore.
The biggest difference they said is the natural lighting.
"All of the rooms, there's so much lighting and we have tons of windows," beamed Sizemore who was also excited about the library.
The new building is also larger, which Principal Keith Hays said will be a big bonus for the years to come. This year he has more than 600 students enrolled at the high school, and expects that number to jump over 700 in the next few years.
While the students are in place and the school year has started, there are still some things left undone.
"Oh, we had a lot of things this morning, that are not completed. The 150 parking spaces in the back that's going to be student parking, but we made it work. There's a few kinks in the building that still has to be worked out," described Principal Hays.
Construction crews are still on site as they continue to build the school's gymnasium and another wing. Hays said the gym likely won't be ready until later this fall. In the meantime, students are still using the gym at the old school building.
The school only opened it's doors on Monday, of this week, and Tuesday night was the first time anyone was able to tour the building. Hays said more than a thousand parents, students, and community members flooded into the school to see the classes.
However, the late opening didn't allow the faculty and staff for much set up time.
"It's a big challenge, especially for the staff. I've got several teachers that are nervous about that because with things not being ready, they like to be prepared when the opening day starts, but I know they'll do a very good job," explained Hays.
The new building has the students in awe but they are also left wandering around. So the school has maps posted on the walls, and teachers are in the hallways helping students find their way.
"It's really different. Nobody really knows where their classrooms are," said Nicholson.
Even with some things left unfinished, that hasn't stopped the excitement from growing about the new building.
"It's going to be so cool to say we were the first class ever," bragged Sizemore.
Making this day not just the start to a school year, but the start to a new era.