Students at Largo High School returned to school Wednesday to find a completely refurbished campus.
Largo High School was one of the oldest and most outdated schools in Pinellas County. But now, almost every building has been reconstructed and updated with the latest technology.
"It's really cool," said David Lehman, a sophomore at Largo High School. "The first time I stepped on it, it looked like a college. But I guess that's what they were going for!"
He's just glad he now has all the extra space. Last year, he and all of the other students were stuck in temporary portable classrooms as they waited for construction to finish.
"It was just very cramped," he said.
The new campus replaces the school’s previous buildings constructed in 1957. It has a new research and media center and much more.
"Now, we have this new campus and it's just eye-opening," said Parvin Sembu, a Largo High School senior.
Largo High School has also added several new technical programs just this year, including automotive and welding.
"Now, we have more opportunities for everyone," said Diego Castro, who will be a senior this year.
Students who graduate these programs get a certificate and are almost guaranteed a local job in their field of study. Most of the entry-level jobs pay at least $10/hour. Some local companies are already signing on to help train, mentor and hopefully one day hire these students.
"We've had a number of community members around Largo come up and say hey, you know, we need workers, and we'll help you do apprenticeships and internships," said Dr. Brad Finkbiner, Largo High School's principal.
As they enjoy this new building, students and teachers say they're confident students will have more marketable skills once they graduate.
The new campus cost more than $60 million dollars took about three years to plan and construct.