LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tony Petrik is Laughlin’s athletic director and has worked in the area for 34 years.

He is all about routines, including the routine of working out and working in Laughlin.

As well as the routine of wishing something would get done about where he started all those years ago, at Bennett Elementary.

“I love that campus. It’s a great little campus,” he expressed to 8 News Now.

Bennett Elementary was built in 1986 and is basically portables covered in stucco.

“We feel like the ugly stepchild,” Ashlyn Sainz a Laughlin resident said.

For nearly 10 years, 8 News Now has profiled Laughlin’s efforts to get a new elementary school.

“The school district hasn’t given us a nickel,” Cheryl Crow of Laughlin stated.

Little happened.

“I would say since 1986, there have been comments of, ‘when is Bennett going to get a new school facility?'” Dawn Estes Laughlin’s principal said.

After years of asking the Clark County School District has decided to do something. It’s putting all of Laughlin’s students here at the junior and high school campuses.

But it’s not just moving the children, CCSD is building a new wing, modernizing what’s already here, and bringing Laughlin’s schools up-to-date. The total cost is set at $32.5 million.

“Our students need to realize that, regardless of their backgrounds, where they come from, our goals are to make sure they can be successful,” Estes added.

“I’m not surprised it’s finally happening. I’m surprised it’s taken this long,” Petrik added.

The Clark County School District expects to break ground in the summer of 2023.

The new elementary school should open in August 2024.