The first day of school was a new beginning for Southwest Fresno.
The new Gaston Middle School welcomes more than 800 students.
Superintendent Mike Hansen of Fresno Unified says the board pushed hard to build this school, offering a state of the art science and technology labs, full size gym, a health clinic serving students and the community, and everything students need. “We think at a beautiful place like this with all the resources we could possibly give them they're going to be very very well prepared to head over to Edison High School,” said Hansen.
Board member Cal Johnson says the community has a responsibility to be involved in academics. “If we do not participate in the educational process our children are not going to learn,” said Hansen.
Students had to travel miles just to go to school, “My mom couldn't even take me, because she worked at West Care and my school was so far she couldn't make it to go down there and go all the way back in time so I had to start taking a bus." Now they're just a few blocks away. Parents are feeling blessed to see change in this underserve community. "It's hard with transportation and stuff like that so, Gaston is here, Edison is down the street, I'm on the other side so I'm happy,” said Naisha Hall.
Proud mother Rhonda Bey is excited her daughter Janae will be a part of the first graduating class. “It's just incredible to be apart of such a special legacy,” said Rhonda Bey.