AMES, Iowa — Four years after Ames voters decided to replace the aging Ames High School, the Little Cyclones’ new home is ready.

School officials cut the ribbon on the $137 million complex on Saturday. The new building was constructed right behind the old complex, which will soon be demolished.

Former Ames school superintendent Dr. Tim Taylor, who led the school district when voters approved the bond referendum for the new high school, shared his gratitude at the grand opening.

“This is a community that so values education and so values your kids…you made this happen,” Taylor said. you provided them right here with one of the most outstanding learning environments that they will ever experience.”

The new Ames High School features a multitude of safety improvements from the old building. They include secured entrance and “classroom pods” that allow whole sections of the school to shut down at a moment’s notice.

The site of the old school will soon transform into practice fields and a parking lot.