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Jan. 20, 2021

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Mountain View High School student groups design, paint motivational murals

Art wall of positive paintings faces west side of new school under construction

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
6 Photos
Mountain View High School junior Makaila Inoncilo, 16, foreground, joins fellow leadership student Nancy Flores, 16, also a junior, while creating a mural with a positive message. The murals created by the leadership students will be displayed on campus.
Mountain View High School junior Makaila Inoncilo, 16, foreground, joins fellow leadership student Nancy Flores, 16, also a junior, while creating a mural with a positive message. The murals created by the leadership students will be displayed on campus. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Got paint? Mountain View High School students will make plywood pretty.

Construction of the new state-of-the-art school isn’t expected to be complete until 2022, but there’s plenty of blue and green visible on the campus grounds while construction is ongoing.

That’s because for much of December, four Mountain View student groups — leadership, choir, band and orchestra — spent time hand-designing and painting murals on several 4-by-8 foot plywood boards donated by Skanska USA, the construction company building the new school.

Soon, an art wall of 35 painted murals will face the west side of the school until construction is complete.

The project is a win for construction crews and the Mountain View staff, said Amanda Leung, the school’s student body president. Not only is their goal to motivate construction workers building their new school but also the educators who are teaching students remotely from their empty classrooms.

“Something to make them feel homey,” Leung said. “We want to show our creativity and appreciate our workers building our new school and our teachers driving by seeing it every single day.

“I didn’t know just standing here can make a difference.”

Crews from Skanska USA began construction during the summer on the new Mountain View, which is expected to open in fall 2022.

In November, workers approached the school with donated plywood. After securing paint from the school, students’ creativity went to work.

Leadership teachers Jim Peterson and Peter Van Datta let students make the most of the idea — but with one rule: make it fun. Students create their own designs featuring uplifting messages that showcase Mountain View’s spirit and culture. All boards include blue and green, the school colors.

The project also is a big win for students, too, as an outlet. Junior Kenna Daron said she’s inspired by the designs. She’s also in charge of Mountain View’s social media pages, and said she hasn’t seen this many students face-to-face in one setting since mid-March, before schools were closed for in-person learning.

“It’s fun seeing everybody,” Daron said. “It’s brought happiness to myself, and makes me feel better about knowing that everybody is going through this, and it’s not me, and I’m not alone.”

Hailey Paull, the school’s senior class president, helped create the leadership board that features Mountain View’s symbolic ThunderBolt and handprints of all 32 senior leadership students. Traditionally, seniors in leadership plaster their painted hands on walls of their leadership class.

Unfortunately, not this year. Students had to improvise, and seeing creativity through her classmates lifts Paull’s spirits

“That was something super special we wanted to do so all the seniors felt like they were included as well,” she said.

Giving, she and Leung said, is what the school’s leadership class is all about. And they’re doing it by making pieces of plywood pretty through paint.

“We want them to drive by every day and be excited to be here as well,” Leung said.

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