WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — Some Wilson County students are heading to a brand new building for the first time on Thursday.
Gladeville Middle School is Wilcon County Schools' first new middle school since West Wilson Middle School was built back in the mid 70s.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau numbers, between 2010 and 2018 Wilson County has grown by more than 2,600 people.
The Wilson County Commission approved the $46 million Gladeville Middle School project in 2016 to accommodate some of that growth.
It took just under two years to finish building the state-of-the-art school that can hold up to 1,500 students.
Every classroom has digital touch screen displays and every student gets a Chromebook.
The Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright said the kids aren't the only ones who will benefit.
"It's an opportunity that many, particularly educators, will not see in a lifetime, so its more than just the community," said Wright. "It's also opportunities for educators that not only state-of-the-art possibilities but just really to perfect their own craft with much of what we see in education that might be read about, but never the opportunity to actually experience and to use it."
Nearly 900 kids are enrolled in the new middle school for this school year.
The district also is working to keep kids safe as they head back to class.
Steve Spencer, the director of safety, said when the students went home for the summer, the work didn't stop for the safety department.
Over the last couple months, he worked with administrators and staff to make sure everyone is up to speed with procedures and that every building is ready for students.
Some of those procedures include making sure they know everyone who is walking in and out of every school. Every person walks through the office and signs in and visitors get a badge and are escorted where they need to go.
More than anything, Spencer says the biggest adjustment happens outside of the building.
"The first couple of weeks of school is generally hectic as far as traffic goes, where we're out of our routines," he said. "We're not accustomed to the school zones being flashing and having to slow down as we go through there so it's an adjustment period to get back to the routine of school"
As a reminder ahead of the school year, don't forget to keep the cell phone out of reach because Tennessee not only has the new hands free law, but fines are more expensive if you break that law in a school zone.