Lafayette Parish students returned to the classroom today.
It was also the day students at the new Southside High School set foot on campus for the first time.
The new school opened its doors to accommodate increasing population growth in Youngsville.
"It's just a lot of excitement. A lot of hard work and preparation has come into play," Principal Catherine Cassidy said.
The parish and community joined together to pitch in ideas for the new facility. Community driven, the state of the art facility is described as a mirror image of the 21st century. "I think this is the first year of school I'm actually excited for.. after seeing the whole building and how much better it is", said Tre Leger, a Southside High School Student.
The school is three-stories high and features collaboration spaces, a cafeteria that seats up to eight-hundred students at once, separate gyms for boys and girls, a Black Box theatre and more.
"Working with the LPSS, the architects, construction crew here and getting ready for the academic portion of the school year opening..it's just all coming into play," said Principal Cassidy.
The most advanced schools in America were used as models for Southside High. The new school will now ease overcrowding in the area by dividing students between it and Comeaux High School.
"We came up with a route set that that pairs up with Comeaux and we have the start time for Southside earlier than Comeuax actually lets in," said the director of transportation Damon Evans. "And if you can save time at one school, you can actually do more for another," he added.
Southside begins the year housing ninth and tenth grade, expecting over six-hundred and fifty students enrolled. Southside's first expected graduation date is 2020.