KILLEEN, TX (FOX 44) – Killeen ISD held a dedication ceremony today for their first new high school in nearly 20 years.

Killeen community members made new memories and traditions for future students and families to enjoy.

From hearing the Alma Mater for the first time to the marching band, the Chaparral Bobcats are ready to kick off the school year.

“I couldn’t wait to get started. Really excited about this day and excited to show the community and students and parents just what a great place Chaparral is going to be,” said Gina Brown, Chaparral High School Principal.

The new school takes up nearly 450,000 square feet with much open space inside the building for students to collaborate.

“The corridors are really wide and there’s lots of soft seating and informal seating in the hallways for when we have our power hour during the day for kids to collaborate and eat lunch and kind of chill out,” said Principal Brown. “It just gives you kind of a a college feel.”

Principal Brown says she was able to hire 93 teachers to fill the school with 200 overall staff.

The school can hold up to 3,000 students and right now there is around 1,750 students enrolled.

For Alma Mater creators, Amari Davis and Angelo Mitchell II, they’re looking forward to new spaces to be creative.

“As I saw when they posted the picture of the auditorium, the first thing I thought was I can’t wait to perform in it because I’m still in choir now,” said Mitchell, incoming junior at Chaparral High School. “I’ve been going since since third grade. The only year I didn’t do it was fifth grade, and choir has been a huge part of my life.”

“Choir has been the biggest influence for a long time now, so to get to do it at a high school from a different high school, I feel great,” said Davis, incoming sophomore at Chaparral High School.

Next Thursday on August 11, students will come to Chaparral High School to take their photo ids and first day of class is on August 15.