Students of Dale returned for the 2019-2020 school year Aug. 14 and after the first few weeks of classes, everyone is settling into the new high school building and the updated gymnasium.

According to high school principal Ky Wilkins, members of the Dale community are overjoyed to finally have a new building and gym for students.

"It's an exciting time in Dale and this is the first group of kiddos to walk through the hallways and it's just gotten off to a good start," Wilkins said.

The principal explained Dale Public Schools had an open house for the new high school Aug. 11.

"We had a really good turnout. All the feedback that we got was positive. It seemed liked the community was happy and excited with how everything turned out for the most part," Wilkins said.

In January of 2018, DPS broke ground on the new high school building and Wilkins said they added 20 new classrooms.

He explained the new classrooms include two new science labs and a 30 station computer lab.

The old high school building was demolished earlier this summer.

"Everything that we have is new basically...Each of the new rooms has all of the new smart board equipment," Wilkins said. "Technology wise, we've added WiFi throughout the building...new intercom system, and everything that would come with a new building."

In addition to the new high school, DPS also built a new gym which Wilkins said is bigger, has air conditioning and better climate control.

"It's a state of the art facility in our opinion...(There's) a big lobby area. There's six goals in the gym so we've added stuff where we can get more practice in...," Wilkins said.

The gym has a trophy case room, new concessions and will be able to hold around 1,400 people during sporting events and it will be more modern.

Wilkins said the project was funded by a $10 million bond issue that was passed in 2017 with 72 percent of people in favor of the enhancements.

"I think the community was ready for a new high school and a new gym and everybody is just excited about it," Wilkins said. "It's a big change for us and...so we were due."