CEDAR GROVE, WV (WOWK) – Cedar Grove Elementary School welcomed students back on Friday as Kanawha County Schools opened for the new school year.

Classes began despite concerns that the school may not be suitable for students as the construction went on.

The school is planning on constructing an outdoor classroom, a new P.E. room, activities room, and cafeteria. There will also be an increased security presence, a new safe school entry, and exterior lighting. All told, the project will cost $18 million.

The price includes the demolition of the former Cedar Grove Community School which was demolished earlier this year.

Branty Gibson picked up his grandson who began his first day of fifth grade Friday. He said the first day of classes is always a bittersweet day, because it means his grandson is growing up.

“They grow up very fast,” Gibson said. “Time flies by. You know, they’re a baby at one time, and then the next thing you know, they’re a grown up child, you know, playing sports. And hopefully they meet their goals in life and go on.”

In regards to the ongoing construction, Gibson said he was slightly concerned about the school being ready in time. But he says if the school was unsafe for learning on Friday, then the school never would have reopened in the first place.

“Parents got to be patient,” Gibson said. “You know, and I wouldn’t think that the school would do anything to be harmful to our children. I trust them. I mean, I do that. I trust them.”

Chase Ramsey began his first day of third grade on Friday. He says he loved his first day so much that he can’t wait for his second.

“It was amazing,” Ramsey said. “We get what they learn, like new stuff, like math and art and all that. We have a desk and teachers desk and everything.”