Columbine High School opened in 1973 with a capacity for 1,652 students. It was named after the surrounding community of Columbine, which in turn was named after the state flower of Colorado: the columbine. The school's first principal was Gerald Difford. There was no senior class during the school's first year; its first graduating class was in 1975. The school colors were selected through a vote by students at Ken Caryl Junior High School and Bear Creek High School, who were the first to attend Columbine High School when it opened in 1973.