Former and current students, teachers, coaches and administrators of Cleveland High School joined together Sunday afternoon to officially open the new Raider Arena.
They were joined by the Cleveland Board of Education, the Cleveland City Council, other public officials and a large crowd of parents and families.
The new $11 million Raider Arena has a seating capacity of 2,700, a large expansion from the 1,300 in the former CHS Dome.
Students from the first graduating class, in 1967, said they were feeling nostalgic but also impressed by the new facility.
School Board Chairwoman Dawn Robinson noted that the board had to raze the old dome in 2013 after learning it had become a safety hazard. She applauded the City Council for taking the step to fund the arena from the council's reserves.
Principal Autumn O'Bryan welcomed the crowd, noting that next year is Cleveland High School's 50th anniversary. Student Government President Sarah Barnette told the crowd the community has been a strong supporter and her classmates are "truly blessed."
Mayor Tom Rowland congratulated the school board, City Council, the architect, and Tri-Con Construction. He also thanked the Bank of Cleveland for funding the fitness center in the arena.
After the ribbon cutting the large crowd was invited to tour the facility.