Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Warren Redding, left, his wife Tamikko Green and two sons Malcolm Wright and Darien Redding tour Lanier High School during a community open house on Saturday. Lanier is Sugar Hill's first high school and will help ease some overcrowded conditions at North Gwinnett.
SUGAR HILL -- Rebecca Tucker is looking forward to the new school year.
She won't only be a freshman -- she'll be a member of the inaugural ninth-grade class at Gwinnett County's newest high school.
"I'm happy. I'm excited," Tucker said Saturday during a community open house for Lanier High School. "It'll be a new start."
Her mother, Saundra Mitchell, said she's also looking forward to the opportunities offered by a brand-new school.
"I think she'll have a good opportunity to pave the way, say what she would like or not like, and make (the school) better for the students coming after her," Mitchell said.
During the open house, students, parents and community members had a chance to roam the hallways, watch presentations from the cheerleading and fencing teams, purchase spirit wear and more.
Malcolm Wright, who will be going into the 10th grade at Lanier, said the building looks nice.
"I think there will be more opportunities for sports and electives," Wright said. "It's a smaller school than my last school (Collins Hill High School)."
Lanier High, located on Buford Highway at Lanier Middle School's former location, was constructed to relieve overcrowding at North Gwinnett High School. The schools that will feed into the new high school are Lanier Middle, Sugar Hill Elementary, Sycamore Elementary and White Oak Elementary.
Michelle Sparks is going into eighth grade next year, but the 13-year-old said she can't wait to attend Lanier High. She currently goes to school in the Duluth cluster, where her mother works, but she lives within Lanier's attendance zone. Her sister will be a freshman at Lanier this August.
"I'm excited," Michelle said. "I know the whole cheerleading team, and I've already seen a couple of friends."
Buford resident April Hodge-Green has a son who will be in 10th grade at Lanier and two daughters in fifth grade. She and her husband, Cregg Green, said they want to be supportive of the school.
"We want to help the community to help the school to grow," Hodge-Green said.