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Old S. Valley school welcomes renovation

APS chief operations officer Ruben Hendrickson, right, joins Mountain View Elementary School students and parents during the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

APS chief operations officer Ruben Hendrickson, right, joins Mountain View Elementary School students and parents during the groundbreaking ceremony Thursday. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One of Albuquerque’s oldest schools is getting a $21-million face-lift.

The 106-year-old Mountain View Elementary School in the South Valley will be almost completely rebuilt, with 63,430 square feet of new classrooms, administrative offices and cafeteria space going up. The existing media center and minigym will remain but are scheduled for renovations.

On Thursday, Albuquerque Public Schools officials joined parents and students at a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the work, which began about a month ago.

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“It has been needed for a long time, and we are eager to have improved learning conditions and a building we can be proud of,” principal Sara Carrillo said, standing in front of piles of earth moved by construction crews.

Mountain View is 106 years old, opening during the Taft administration, when eggs cost 14 cents a dozen and 8 percent of homes had telephones.

A few of Mountain View’s current facilities date back to the 1920s; over half are more than 60 years old.

Everything from bathrooms to air conditioning were in need of replacement, according to school volunteer Josie Ewing.

Ewing has a long history with Mountain View. Her husband and four children all attended and now her granddaughter is carrying on the tradition.

The little girl is in third grade and can’t wait for 2017, when the construction will be complete, Ewing said.

“She asked me if they could build it any faster,” she added.

Mountain View’s design work and construction were funded by the 2010 and 2013 bonds, respectively, and administrators used the groundbreaking ceremony to ask for support at the next bond election Feb. 2.

The 2016 bond would provide $575 million for various capital projects, including security upgrades, improved technology, building renovations and two new schools on the West Side.

Carrillo said a “yes” vote would help other children get better learning conditions.

“Mountain View is not the only school that has needed improvements for a long time,” she said. “All students deserve to learn in facilities that inspire them to dream of their future.”

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