PENN HILLS (KDKA) — Alumni gathered to say goodbye to the old Penn Hills High School, including two ladies from the Class of ’67.

“So many wonderful things happened here — variety shows, teachers talking, classrooms,” said Sandy Williams Pawlyk, who graduated 45 years ago.

The school’s longest serving principal — Ed Hoover — received the original office sign, a good thing since the familiar high school will be razed to the ground for a parking lot for the brand new state-of-the-art high school.

The first thing that strikes you at the new school is the atrium — full of natural light.

“The light — both natural and artificial — is a thousand times better than what we had,” said Eric Kostic, the current high school principal.

The high school is unique. It’s open and spacious — gives you the feeling of an art gallery or suburban shopping mall.

Of course, the two-story building with multiple wings is a school for learning with high-tech classrooms and what Kostic calls an upgrade from a smart-board.

“Teachers can play a variety of things,” he says. “They can pull things off TV. They can pull things from their computer. They can pull things from the Internet. They can have them all up at one time.”

It’s not just classrooms. The basketball court seats 1,900 and the auditorium rivals any theater in Pittsburgh.

The total cost — $86 million.

“For the technology that’s in this building, I think it was built very efficiently; and the cost, I think it’s a fair number,” noted Dennis Russo, the school district’s construction manager. “And a very good deal for taxpayers.”

And some think it might boost attendance.

“The coolest thing is even the kids who aren’t too excited about coming to school are very excited about coming to this school because it’s such a new experience,” added senior and student body president Jonathan Morford.

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