Students start their first day at Jefferson High School

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Nearly 1,500 students at Jefferson High School are getting ready for their second day in the new $85 million building.

These students come from the northwest part of the city, most came from Roosevelt and Washington high schools.

Students were amazed as they entered the 305,000-square-foot school on Thursday morning.

“As kids walk around, there’s a lot of looking up like just trying to get a sense of the space. It’s a lot of square footage and there’s a vertical space to it that I think kids are kind of like ‘wow there’s a lot going on.’ So, it’s just been an awesome great first start,” Todd Novak, Freshman Academy Coordinator said.

“It was very different. It felt like I was in college more than high school because it was just like the area and how open it was and the study lounge was very like open and just fun I guess,” Nazrawit Zewdie, a senior, said.

As students and staff come together from different schools they are excited to build new connections.

“Since we are seniors, it’s just like what we want to do. We were all here as a fresh graduating class and we just want to be a community and set an example for the rest of the people.” Zewdie said.

“Building those relationships with staff from all of the buildings that are coming over. I’m excited to meet all of my students and I’m excited to utilize this space, I think it is going to push teachers to be even better than they already were,” Jillian Thomas, English Department Chair said.

Teachers and staff members come from 16 different schools. They’re coming together to collaborate and learn from one another. They have gone to several training session and participated in relationship building exercises to prepare them to teach in this new environment.

“Everyone has had a hand in deciding what this school is going to be and how it’s going to function and that’s really special, when everyone feels like their voice is creating this building,” Thomas said.

A special start to what will hopefully be a special year for students and teachers alike.

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