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      Ridge View High School unveils new look

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Changes to Ridge View High brought about a powerful sense of school spirit.

      The additions make the students feel better about the school, said senior Antoine Parker.

      It TMs nice to see things change and progress, said senior Larry August.

      The most visible difference for students on their first day was not the construction taking place on campus, but the school's new logo and mascot design.

      I think our new image is a way to show the community we have really come full circle, said teacher Jennifer Martin.

      Richland 2 is one of the fastest growing districts in the state, and with 2,100 students at Ridge View alone; officials say it was time to expand.

      The school is undergoing several upgrades to make room for its student body.

      These additions will enable us to house without portables about 1,750 students, said Principal Marty Martin.

      Despite an $11 million loss in state funding, the district is moving forward with its plans.

      Voters approved a bond referendum for more than $300 million in 2008 to cover the cost of new construction and renovations.

      Ridge View isn't the only school undergoing changes in the district.

      Langford Elementary opened its doors to students for the first time Thursday, and during the next two years, an additional three schools will open.

      Latoysha Carter, a parent of a ninth grader at Ridge View says she doesn't mind the district spending money on building projects.

      I still think it's a great plan as long as it's benefiting our students, said Carter.

      Officials add the changes help boost morale after several months of budget cuts