SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Students, teachers and administrators are celebrating the much-needed renovations of two schools in the South Bay.
It took crews about 10-and-a-half weeks to overhaul La Mirada and Smythe elementary schools in the San Ysidro School District.
Nearly $28 million in renovations were completed over summer break.
A new library at Smythe is now outfitted like a Google building.
"It's cool because it looks like you are in the future," said a student named Ricardo.
Smythe students are giving the new library an A+.
Fresh paint is breathing new life into a school district which has a high poverty level.
1 in 3 students is homeless.
"This is not only an opportunity that is functional and beautiful but we're telling them 'we do care for you,'" said Smythe Principal Joel Tapia.
The TK-6th grade schools built in the early 1970s have never gone through a major renovation and the superintendent Julio Fonesca says the condition of the dilapidated schools was a crime.
"When we first walked the classrooms, the carpet was put together with duct tape and some of the cabinets were falling off hinges," said Fonesca.
The students had been drinking bottled water for the last school year, when high levels of lead tested positive in the drinking water.
Now, the schools have water fountains and new light shining on a brighter education for the students.