MERCED — Shiny floors and the smell of fresh paint greeted a throng of visitors to El Capitan High School on Saturday, as campus officials swung open the doors to the public.
The $98 million school celebrated its first open house, a precursor to the ribbon-cutting scheduled for 8 a.m. Aug. 13.
Principal Anthony Johnson estimated at least 500 people attended the event at the G Street and Farmland Avenue campus, which inhabits 53 acres.
Many first-time visitors purchased blue and gold T-shirts advertising the campus's "Mighty Gaucho" mascot.
Johnson said several people approached him during the tour to tell him how impressed they were with the school.
"It's been incredible," Johnson said. "Everyone seems very excited."
Dozens of people strolled into the gymnasium under the school motto painted on the wall: "Learn, Love, Lead and Leave a Legacy."
Many young people took advantage of the sports facility by playing a game of hoops.
Others took a dip in the campus pool, which is more than 98 feet long and 75 feet wide.
Teachers were on hand to give parents demonstrations of the technology available at the school.
El Capitan will be much more advanced than your parents' high school.
Education goes digital
All students will learn from electronic devices instead of textbooks and students are encouraged to bring their personal computers.
El Capitan teachers will use the digital version of most textbooks from the state-adopted curriculum. The digital emphasis is expected to save room in backpacks; there will be no lockers.
The school year begins Aug. 19 for 750 freshmen and sophomores.