After waiting years and years for a new high school, it was a little cruel to make Ward 7’s residents sit through an hour-plus ribbon-cutting program before opening the new Howard D. Woodson High School to tours today. But wait patiently they did.

Once all the singing, cheering and speechifying was over, hundreds of dignitaries and neighborhood representatives flooded into the magnificent new building, which replaced the crumbling nine-story concrete tower that was demolished in 2008.

Judging from the remarks today — both on the podium and off — the “Tower of Power” spirit lives strong, and the nickname isn’t going anywhere, even if the new building is only three stories tall.

Pictures after the jump ...

Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) after the ribbon-cutting (MIKE DEBONIS)