That’s how some students and parents described the new Montezuma-Cortez High School after touring the building earlier this week.
“It’s big,” said senior Colton Reynolds. “I’m probably going to get lost.”
After registering Monday for the upcoming school year, Reynolds toured the new 152,000-square-foot facility with his mother, Mori Reynolds.
“I think it’s a really good improvement for Cortez,” she said. “It was time to get out of the old high school.”
Colton, a football player, said he was slightly disappointed that the new school wouldn’t have an adjoining stadium this fall, but he remained upbeat.
“We’ll get to play on the old field, which is tradition,” he said.
Asked to identify a highlight of the new building, Mori Reynolds said she was excited that a student health center had been incorporated into the design, allowing students to easily access health care.
“It provides peace of mind,” she said.
The new school was funded in part by an $18.9 million bond measure, which passed with a 5-3 margin. Parents Julie and Bill Sturman said they voted for it because the old school was dated.
“It was time to do some expansion,” said Julie Sturman.
That development had their daughter, Jennifer, giddy with excitement after touring the building on Monday.
“It’s really big and looks pretty cool,” she said.
Joking that the agriculture classroom had its own restrooms, the senior added that the new career-technical education shop offered greater space and hands-on training.
“The old school didn’t have a professional paint booth,” she said.
Asked if the community investment was worth the effort, Bill Sturman replied, “We’ll have to wait and see on the new test scores.”
A graduate from the old high school on Seventh Street, Rhiannon Tanner said she wasn’t registered to vote during the election, but that it was time to retire the old school.
“We needed a new high school,” she said.
Her daughter, Cheyenne Tanner, was optimistic that the school would provide greater structure and academic opportunity for her peers.
“Hopefully it will bring in better grades, and make our test scores go up,” she said.
Senior Tresten Harris was excited most by the career-technical classroom for the fire-emergency management course.
“It’s very impressive,” he said.
“The school is very nice,” his mother, Gwendolyn Smith, added.
Senior Ariana Finnell said the school was larger than she expected. She also liked the large windows.
“I’m looking forward to coming to school here,” she said.
Finnell’s mother, Jamie Mueler, worried that the windows might distract some kids, but she remained optimistic.
“Hopefully with the new environment, they’ll will want to learn more,” she said.
Senior Zane Yates said he believes the school with inspire academic success.
“It’s a new beginning that I think will inspire a majority of students,” he said.
His mother, Angela Yates, said it was nice to see that her taxes were spent on a beautiful, state-of-the-art structure.
“It’s good for the whole community to come together and do this,” she said.
“It’s spectacular,” said senior Leland Belone. He looks forward to training in the commercial kitchen.
Rose Woody, a grandmother, echoed Belone’s impressions.
“It’s just wonderful,” she said. “I’m 100 percent pleased.”