MARTINSVILLE (WSLS) - Students at New College Institute stepped in a new building for the first day of classes.
Alexis Gravely says she's excited to learn at NCI's new building.
"It's really great that it's here," says Gravely. "It will bring in a lot of new students and jobs in a town that hasn't had a whole lot."
The building has been under construction since last year. Area officials believe the building, which is an extension to the campus in Uptown, could be the start to improving the economy in Martinsville.
The school is hoping to attract more students through new technology and manufacturing labs.
"It's nice to have a huge technological change, "says Ethan Haley. "You've never seen anything like this it's so much innovation put into one building."
In addition to the campus in Uptown, the building will provide more classrooms and areas for students to learn. It cost about $18 million to build the 52,000 square feet facility.
Coray Davis, the program director for engineering and technology also known as AET says more students can mean more people working in the area after they graduate.
"We've had students who graduated in AET while in AET got internships with local companies beyond the internship decided to retain it," says Davis.