After five years and more than $200 million, construction of a new Pinole Valley High School in Pinole, Calif., is complete.
KTVU-TV reports that the West Contra Costa district held an open house so that the community could take a look at the 267,000-square-foot facility.
Classes for the 1,200 students enrolled at Pinole Valley will begin next week.
While the school has been under construction, classes have been held since fall 2014 in a cluster of portable classrooms, 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," says teacher Michelle Laimons Raiford.
The lack of space was a hardship for students.
"The basketball team hasn't had a home game in years," Principal Kibby Kleiman says. "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 modern, 600-seat theater.
Administrators say the building is technologically advanced.
"It really has everything our modern-day students need," Superintendent Matthew Duffy says. "From places to express themselves in the arts and performing arts, and the variety of different kinds of classrooms."