OMAHA. Neb. - Some OPS students went back to school from Winter break in a brand new building.
Pre-K through sixth grade students at Belle Ryan Elementary kicked off 2018 in their brand new building.
The new facility on 60th, just north of Center opened today. It replaces the original, which dated back to 1954.
"The building was built in 1954 originally and had window air conditioning and not air conditioning in a lot of places," said Principal Charla Johnson. "It's beautiful to walk in here and our kids and our families really deserve this."
The 1950's era school shut its doors in 2016. It was bulldozed and then rebuilt with funding from a $421 million dollar bond. The new facility comes with welcome upgrades.
"We also now have a gym a stage and a cafeteria. Before, we had a gym that was also our cafeteria our auditorium, our was the catch all," said Principal Johnson.
It's built to one day house more than double the current student body. That's about 600 students.
The updated building has three floors with plenty of open space; and a STEM lab and media center and library.
"These students had to use a really old bathroom for changing and all of those kinds of things. Now, each of those rooms have their own bathroom. So they can help students," said Johnson. "We have an elevator now for students with wheelchairs."
While the school was under construction, students were bussed to Liberty Christian Center. But for these Belle Ryan students and parents, today was well worth the wait.