Morganton, North Carolina’s Mountain View Elementary School opened its doors to 600 eager new students on August 27th, 2018 with the mission of providing a “safe, dynamic and challenging learning environment.” The long-anticipated $20 million project is now one of Burke County’s showcase schools featuring flexible-use classrooms, customized technology, and embedded security measures married with a sleek modern aesthetic achieved with a blend of block, brick and stone veneers.
From its early design drafts in 2016, community stakeholders were looking to Mountain View Elementary School to address a host of Burke County School System’s (BCSS) pressing issues. Like many aging school districts, county officials grapple with deteriorating buildings, necessary closures, outdated security features, and overcrowding. With a limited budget, BCSS Superintendent Larry Putnam implemented a “triage” strategy that began with replacing high-maintenance buildings built between the 1920s and the 1960s. Putnam’s top priorities for the new building included eliminating outdated, impractical design features such as multiple levels, staircases, and separate entrances for cafeterias, auditoriums, and gymnasiums — all inefficient features that also pose modern-day security challenges. As the Mountain View project broke ground, stakeholders kept a watchful eye on its progress. Not only would the school’s added capacity absorb student overflow, but the detailed specifications also promised innovative solutions for today's educational landscape.