GARY — Wirt-Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts received its new computers Tuesday before students return to class.

It was the first 325 of 4,000 units to be installed throughout the Gary Community School Corp.

The corporation plans to have all the new computers replaced and operating by the end of the month.

The new machines will operate with Windows 8, and be able to communicate throughout the corporation. The entire information technology network will also be upgraded.

Wirt-Emerson principal Adrian Richie Jr. said the new computers will have a direct impact on all their programs.

“We really want to get into the 22nd century, and give our students an opportunity to use updated technology,” Richie said.

Funding for the new computers come from a Title 1 federal grant. The funds aren’t eligible for any kind of use, he said, so purchasing tablet or laptop computers weren’t an option.

Instead, the corporation opted for buying desktop computers.

The first day of school for Wirt-Emerson is Wednesday.