KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Thousands of Knox County students entered school Monday for the first time this year, but for students at one West Knoxville school, it was the first time entering a brand new building.
The first day of school for Sarah Roy is a day of fun, meeting her new third grade teacher and class, and learning at Knox County's newest and largest elementary school Cedar Bluff Elementary.
“I think it's really cool...The thing that I like the most is my teacher this year."
Last year, Sarah was one of many students at Cedar Bluff Primary.
One of the two principals at Cedar Bluff Elementary, Richard Ward says, “It was a temporary structure, that was built about 34 years ago, it was supposed to last 10 years."
Co-principals Richard Ward and Susan Davis say the new amenities make the quality of education better.
Ward says, “Every time students change a building it impacts their achievement just a little bit."
The new building opened last year, but, for the first time, students from the primary and intermediate schools came together, and changed the type of classrooms the third and fourth graders were used to.
Ward says, “The classrooms were the open classroom concept...and so teachers are excited to have four walls and a door.”
Students now have access to a much larger library with brand new computers.
The primary students never had a gym, but the new one they now have is more than double what the intermediate students had.
Student Sarah says, “I like it, we get a new cafeteria and a new gym."
Ward says, “We've never had a cafeteria in the history of the school. In 30 years the students came through a line and took their trays out to a classroom and ate in it."
Sarah says, “We had to wait a long time to get our lunch."
But now, all of that has changed. Teachers and students are excited about the new year ahead, and their brand new school.
There is still one more phase to the new Cedar Bluff Elementary School. For now, fifth graders are still in the intermediate school, but more class rooms are being added to the elementary school so the fifth graders can move into the new building next year.