ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Thursday marked the beginning of a whole new experience for students, staff and parents at Marion Mix Elementary School.

The first day of school was a bigger production than at most other schools, since it was the first day ever for Marion Mix.

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Britta Guerrero moved her second-grader from a private school to the new public school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as green living.

“To me, it’s totally in line with our family values, so I’m really excited,” she said.

The green culture is a bi-product of the recession. Elk Grove Unified School District planned the school 10 years ago, but construction was halted during the recession. Planners used that downtime to implement green hiring standards, and when faculty were hired, they went green too.

“They kind of rallied around what the whole project was about, and then that allowed them to implement some green technology into their teaching and some STEM learning,” said Associate Superintendent Robert Pierce.

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The school houses most of its classrooms and offices in one two-story building. There are just two other structures on campus, making operations more efficient.

“In terms of maintenance and upkeep, and then obviously safety and security of the children, we’re able to all have them under one roof,” Pierce said.

Another point of pride is the school’s namesake, Marion Mix. She became the first female science teacher in Elk Grove.

“I have no doubt that she would be bursting with pride today at this remarkable school named in her honor,” her son Oscar Mix said.

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The school was created to ease overcrowding at three neighboring elementary schools. It has 650 students and will max out at 850 in a couple of years.