Almost two years after officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony, Huntingtown High School opened to students this week. Calvert County's fourth public high school cost more than $37 million to build.

The new three-story, 206,000-square-foot school is designed to accommodate 1,500 students. The structure and its campus occupy 86 acres on northbound Route 2/4.

Although the building is ready for students, work will continue on some of the sports fields, Calvert school Superintendent J. Kenneth Horsmon said this week.

School and county officials also will monitor traffic conditions created by the new school. Vehicles leaving the school will exit directly onto Route 2/4, which has raised congestion and safety concerns. If problems arise, officials have said they will consider alternatives for the school.

Huntingtown High is not the first school bearing that name. A two-story Huntingtown High School, which offered elementary through high school, was consolidated in 1932 with Prince Frederick and Solomons High School to create the first Calvert High School.

Robert Dredger is principal of the new Huntingtown High School. He is something of a veteran at opening new schools in Calvert County. He joined the Calvert public school system in 1995 when he was named the first principal at Patuxent High.

The new school was designed by Delmar Architects of Olney and built by Scheibel Construction of Huntingtown.

Clockwise, from top, Faye Shields prepares for the start of classes at Calvert County's new Huntingtown High School with a box of maps on her desk for students. Work continues on the school's new football field, and Jack Hass watches as George Hall, both of Scheibel Construction, drills a hole for a bench in the boys' locker room. Jason Balwin of Heller Electric in Brandywine contributes by installing a television stand in a classroom.