WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- With the fanfare of the first football game of the season, the new Dunbar High School in Northwest D.C. opened its doors to the public.
The $122 million facility has lots of windows providing natural light, unlike the former building that was often compared to a prison. Each classroom also now has interactive smart boards, computers, and televisions, and students also have an eight-lane pool, a gymnasium, and a state-of-the-art auditorium.
Dunbar's principal Stephen Jackson says the new school should send a strong message to the 650 students who will start class here:
"It will show them that we really care about children, that we really love children, because an environment like this beautiful building will show we really care about the success of a child's education."
Alumni, teachers, and students gathered for Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was a combination of a reunion and a move-in party.
Mayor Vincent Gray was actually a part of Dunbar's Class of 1959.
"Today we can all say that Dunbar High School continues to stand proudly as a monument to learning and a monument to inspiring architecture as it has been in the past," he said.