PINOLE, Calif. (KTVU) - It took four years and more than $200 million to get the job done, but the new Pinole Valley High School construction project is complete.
The high school is now ready to welcome some 1,200 students who will be returning for the start of the new school year next week.
Long-time sign language teacher Michele-Laimons Raiford said she loves her new classroom and that her students will also.
"If I have a 6'5" football player, he won't have a problem getting into a desk," she said.
While the school was under construction, classes were held in a small cluster of portable bungalows, an experience the students and teachers will no longer have to relive.
"No more raccoons and possums chasing us in the morning. It's wonderful," Raiford said.
"The basketball team hasn't had a home game in years," Principal Kibby Kleiman said. "The homecoming dance was at a middle school. The SATs were at the library, across the street."
The new school has plenty of open space with two gymnasiums to handle more programs and a state-of-the art, 600 seat theater that can also hold community events when the students aren't using it. Administrators said the building is technologically advanced.
"It really has everything our modern-day students need," Superintendent Matthew Duffy said. "From places to express themselves in the arts and performing arts, and the variety of different kinds of classrooms.
Students we talked to said they are looking forward to being the first to ever attend school here.
"It is unreal to think about. We have such a small city and have this big school," said student Camille Rhodes.
The bell rings next Monday morning August 19th.