SHELBY, N.C. -- Students are now putting a new multi-million dollar facility to use in Cleveland County.
The LeGrand Center has opened in Shelby and will be used in many different ways, benefiting education and the community.
Cleveland County students are back in the classroom for another school year but this year is especially exciting.
The LeGrand Center, a state of the art facility located on the Cleveland Community College campus is bringing new life and energy to education.
It's not only for college students but it's also the new home for Cleveland Early College High School.
Students said the new building doesn't even compare to the old one.
"When I came in as a freshman it was small. I was used to the big Crest Middle School because that's where I came from, so it was small. All we had was a hallway before," explained Austin Phelps.
But those days are over. The new 89,000 square foot building houses a conference center, classrooms and labs for the college and an entirely separate wing for the Early College High School students.
The principal said it has everything they could need and more.
"We have larger classrooms, wider hallways, we now have our own biology and chemistry lab. We didn't have that before and the technology in the classrooms is amazing," said Anita Ware.
Cathy Rempson said the new building is opening many doors for her and her students.
"We're using a whole different series. It's a lot of hands on experiments in math, if you can believe that," said Rempson.
Above all, school officials said the LeGrand Center gives them the space they need to grow. Ware said the school has a long waiting list each year but they now hope to start trimming it down.
The facility is financed jointly by the Cleveland County School System, the Cleveland Community College and the Cleveland County Commission.