Join the “Team of 83”!
What is the “Team of 83”? It is a group of individuals, businesses, clubs, churches and organizations that believe in and support the Historic Banner Elk School project. In the fall of 2014, the Town of Banner Elk signed an agreement with Avery County to purchase the property for $1,000,000, to be paid over the next twelve years. This breaks down to $83,333 per year for payment in full. The “Team of 83” provides a straight-forward way for the Town to fully own the building and the surrounding five acres. Our commitment to the Historic Banner Elk School project will include a minimum of 83 friends, each pledging $1000 per year over the next twelve years. Several folks have expressed interest in joining the “Team of 83” and it is our hope that supporting the school and its future are important to you.
The original section of the Historic Banner Elk School was built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration using native materials and workers from the local area. For many years, the school housed students in grades one through eight. Additions were made to the building in the 1950s and again in the early 1970s. Until 2011, when the original school was replaced, children from preschool through fifth grade attended classes here. This structure is an important part of the history of our community. By protecting the building and surrounding greenspace, the property will continue to be a vital part of activity and learning in our wonderful town.
Mayland Community College has leased three rooms in the back portion of the school. Mayland will update and prepare the rooms to start classes in the fall of 2015 or early 2016. This allows the College to expand its class offerings in this area of the county and to become an integral part of the future of the Historic Banner Elk School project. Potential uses could include a community gathering space, leasing of business areas, educational offerings highlighting arts and crafts of the mountain region and special celebrations or festivals. There are many possibilities for preserving and using this historic building.
If you are interested in joining the “Team of 83” or if you have questions, please contact Allen Bolick, 828-898-1934, Donna Dicks, 828-898-6667 or Rick Owen, Banner Elk Town Manager, 828-898-5398. In addition to pledging to join the “Team of 83”, the Town of Banner Elk is accepting donations of any amount. All donations will be gratefully received and are tax deductible; for your convenience, please find a pledge card at this LINK. Thank you for your support and interest.