Hamilton County students returned to class Thursday morning for the 2015-2016 school year.

Students at East Brainerd Elementary School moved into a brand new school building Thursday. The new $23 million school, with two stories and 145,000 square feet is fully wireless, with geothermal heating and air, and large play areas.

"Overall we are ready to start school and ready to make a difference in the lives of East Brainerd children," said Principal Dr. Bryan Stewart.

East Ridge Elementary teachers welcomed back their students with a red carpet at the school entrance early Thursday morning.

"We want every child to know that they are valued, they're important and they're our superstars," said Principal Gail Huffstutler.

"It was a wonderful experience to be able to have that," said father of two daughters Anthony Yates. "It made my children feel good! I saw it in their eyes."

Students will no doubt notice a major security upgrade at schools county-wide. More than 2,500 security cameras, valued at almost two million dollars were installed over the summer.

Three more local school districts have yet to return to school: Catoosa County goes back Aug. 17, Cherokee County on Aug. 27 and Murray County on Sept. 8.