OAK CREEK -- Some students in Oak Creek will return to a brand new building for the new school year next month.
The 9th Grade Center of Oak Creek High School will house 500 freshmen for the upcoming year. It's connected to the rest of the high school by a covered, outdoor walkway.
The project, which cost about $39-million, was approved by taxpayers in a 2014 referendum that also paid for the construction of a new elementary school.
Superintendent Tim Culver said the new facilities will help the Oak Creek - Franklin Joint School District deal with a growing student population.
He added it will also help 9th graders with the transition to high school by moving them into their own building.
"While working on resolving the growth and overcrowdedness at the high school, a parallel idea came up about how we can create a better structure that will focus on the needs of our 9th graders," Culver said.
Chris Weiss, the Principal of the 9th Grade Center, said a curriculum that encourages strong relationships between teachers and students will help the large building feel small to the new students.
"The teachers will know the kids, the kids will know the teachers, and all of the support is based around that," Weiss said.
The building's maximum capacity is 1-thousand students, so Culver added there's space to grow into in the future.