MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — Lakewood Elementary School, now known as Home of the Lynx, is the newest school in the city of Mandan.

Faculty and staff at the event said this new school was well-needed due to the constant growth of the city.

Monica Klein says she is so excited to start her 16th year teaching at this new school and adds she’s proud to be a part of this new venture.

“It’s been very exciting to be a part of something, building something, that is not only going to be a community for teachers and students but also for the community as a whole,” Klein noted.

She says Lakewood School kicked off its first year with a great start: All positions filled and a plethora of students ready to learn. Some of the school’s objectives: “To provide an education that prepares young minds to be creative, respectful, and eager to learn.”

Mandan Schools Superintendent Mike Bitz says one school goal is “to be a great school for the neighborhood and for our community.”

Mandan School Board President Sheldon Wolf adds another goal is “to be able to utilize this brand new school, to lower our district sizes for our classes, and for our kids to get a great education in Mandan.”

Welcoming their kindergarten to fifth-grade students, faculty and staff members say they’re not just excited for the new building, but also for creating a new culture.

“We take a lot of pride in connecting with our students and just building that culture that will be lasting throughout the years at Lakewood,” said Lakewood School Principal Pat Beckman.

The new school cost $16 million to complete.