LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) – It was the first day back to school for students within the Olentangy School District and it was also opening day for the brand new Berlin Middle School.

The middle school was built on 45 acres of land located right next to the high school. The construction for the new $46 million school was paid for through a bond issue district voters approved in the spring of 2020.

Berlin Middle School Principal, Nathan Davis, said today was everything the faculty has been working towards for the last 18 months.

“The staff have been in all summer, normally teachers you think of them having the summer off but they’ve been in here for meetings like all the time,” Davis said. “This building has been hopping with adults, which has been fun, but now this is what we’ve worked for. I mean, having kids in the building and being able to see their faces and welcome them in like we did this morning was everything we wanted, so I couldn’t be happier.”

This middle school is now the district’s sixth, and there’s been a lot of growth. In January, 718 children were enrolled at the school; that number is now 804.

“It’s a lot of growth,” David said. “We’ve already hired a couple of additional teachers in the late spring to accommodate some of that growth because what we planned in March, come May was not adequate. We’re seeing houses go up all over the place up here.”

In order to adapt to the growth, Berlin Middle has five collaborative spaces and all middle schools within the district now have a dedicated school resource officer. Davis has also hired additional teachers to help accommodate.

Physical Education teachers, Billy Williamson and Kathy Morgan, said they hope this school has the same community feel that the high school does.

“We told the kids today, come in here and have a positive experience in the gym, in the school and just enjoy being here every day,” said Williamson.

“To back that up, we also want the kids to grow not just for themselves but also to teach other students how to grow and better themselves,” added Morgan.

Olentangy Berlin is located at 2500 Piatt Road in Berlin Township, Delaware County, next to Berlin High School.