BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Students and parents packed into a new high school in Boyd County, Ky. for a dedication ceremony Thursday night.
The project cost about $42 million and has been in the making for 40 years.
Thursday night, folks got their first look at the new classrooms, labs, theater and gym.
The old high school is more than 30 years old, so this is a major and long-awaited upgrade.
"This school was supported from the very start after we passed the levy with no opposition and we're very proud to open our school, we're very proud of Boyd County and this is going to be a source of pride in this community for the next 50 years," said Boyd County Schools Superintendent Ken Osborne.
The school also offers an early college program where any student that goes to the new high school can be eligible for up to 70 tuition-free hours of college. The program is built on the academy concept and focuses on training for 28 of the most highly needed careers that are expected over the next 20 years.
Students will officially be in the new high school January 2.
"Our people in this community are the most wonderful people in the world. They wanted the very best for their kids. We're not a rich community. But we're a community that values our children. And that's why we're sitting in a new high school today," said Osborne.
Back in September, the school board approved a $60 million project to also make upgrades at the elementary and middle schools.
Monday night, Board of Education members awarded bids for the nearly $31 million construction project.
Superintendent Howard Osborne tells WSAZ.com, board members selected Kodell Construction as the project manager, and Sherman-Carter-Barnhart was picked as the architect.
Site preparation in currently underway. Construction is expect to be finished in about two years.
Ground was broken on the new building last month.
The groundbreaking event had even the youngest people excited...even seven-year-old Peyton Boblett.
"I am so excited that we are having a new high school," he said.
He's the future of the new Boyd County High School. He's got the inside scoop on the new building because of his dad, who is the principal of Boyd County Middle School.
"Our sixth grade class right now is going to be the first class, if everything goes on track, to be in this new building," he said.
The high school choir was there singing praise for what will be an unprecedented school in the area.
"The technology will be state of the art. Our science labs will be amazing. We've designed a pendulum to discuss motion, a robotics lab. a bio-fuels lab...We have so many new things we can offer new students," said Ken Osbourne, superintendent of Boyd County Schools.
Future students aren't the only ones twiddling their thumbs in anticipation.
"Different people are going to come in and take classes. They are going to have a walking track here and news sports facilities, so it's an excellent opportunity for everyone in this whole community to experience a state of the art facility," said Principal Boblett.
The site of the new school was packed with people ready to celebrate.
"I didn't know there was going to be this much people here," said Peyton.
Even the little ones came out to help and build for a better future.