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Students celebrate opening of public charter school in Laurel

The Laurel public charter school that previously shared space with a middle school now has 80,000-square feet of space all to itself. (Kellye Lynn/ABC7)

A celebration of the completion of an 18-month school construction project.

Agatha Dulce, 18, has attended Chesapeake Math and IT North High School since it opened in 2011.

"This is the year that I really feel like a high schooler because I'm not surrounded by middle schoolers anymore," she said.

The Laurel public charter school that previously shared space with a middle school now has 80,000-square feet of space all to itself.

Students at CMIT are focused on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, art and math.

"A lot of technology programs, emphasis on math," assistant principal Tammy Colandrea said. "We have a good partnerships with the community, strong parent support."

Said junior Brian Ndofor, "I'm in the ITEC program: Information-Technology-Early-College. It enables me to earn my associate's degree in IT when I graduate in 12th grade, which is one of the most tremendous opportunities I've been blessed with."

Administrators emphasize the small class sizes which they say provide more individual attention and help students perform above the county average.

"Last year we had our first graduating class," Colandrea said. "One hundred percent graduation. One hundred percent college acceptance."

The new school cost $20 million dollars to build and was financed by the Chesapeake Lighthouse Foundation: http://clfmd.org

This story has been updated Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

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