KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- For the first time in 40 years in Knox County, high school students walked into a new building Monday.
The 2008-2009 school year is underway for students in Knox County, but for about 1200 kids at Hardin Valley Academy, the first day is only one of many firsts this year.
Principal Sallee Reynolds says, "There's going to be that first moment of class and that teachable moment that teachers just all just grab onto go with, there's going to be that first kid that walks through the door in a few minutes"
That first student was Austin McCord.
"Kinda nervous ya know, new school, it's going to be kinda exciting too."
Austin is a junior, and can't wait to play football for the hawks.
He says, "It's pretty exciting, I didn't play football before at my old high school so it's a new experience it's kinda cool getting to know all the football players that will be here."
One of those players is Devon Burton. Since there are no seniors, Devon and Austin will be part of the first class to graduate in 2010.
Devon says he wants to make new friends.
"I know a few, some from schools that I've been with before, but I'd like to meet more people here."
From new friendships to new books, everything is fresh for students who will now cheer on teams in the new gym.
Devon says, "I haven't been in a gym that big before so it's kind of a new thing for me so I'm looking forward to it."
They’ll also do research in a state-of-the-art computer lab.
Austin says, "I've seen my classes and seen a lot of the school and it looks awesome, it's really great."
New students will create traditions that set a path for years to come.
World History Teacher Bryan Brown says, "Everything we do is a first it's a kind of neat for the kids to be able to be the first, the first for everything we do so it's going to be a good year for that."
For now, Reynolds just wants her students to keep smiling.
"They're coming in, they're excited…I just hope they can keep that excitement and that enthusiasm and I'm expecting great things out of these kids."