• Benson Banner

    Benson Polytechnic High School is one of 3 PPS high schools being modernized through the May 2017 Bond. It was partially master planned as part of the 2012 School Building Improvement Bond. Phased three year construction on Benson Tech is scheduled to begin in 2021. Learn more about Benson High School here.

  • Construction updates

    Oct/Nov 2022 Update - More new buildings rise up!
    New building under construction
    workers putting steel beams in place
    The Benson Tech site is transforming as more buildings are rising up from the ground.
    new building going up on south campus
    As we move into November, steel is going up on the buildings on the south side of the site.
     On the north side, Benson Tech's Building H steel structure erection is almost complete!
    On the north side, Benson Tech's Building H steel structure erection is almost complete!
    Steel work next to historic brick work
    The new steel will tie into the historic brick facade for a seamless new building.
    the basement wall under the library is almost ready to be backfilled
    Excavation work on the media center
    Foundations for the last new building are being excavated and the basement wall under the library is almost ready to be backfilled to complete site work. 
    Seismic work on Gym exterior
    In the gymnasium, steel strengthening with new exterior steel columns is also well underway.
    The main historic classroom wing is ready for drywall work
    The main historic classroom wing has all of the heating and ventilation ducts, electrical conduit, wall insulation, plumbing and fire sprinkler pipes installed and is ready for drywall covering.
    several roofs completed
    The school is prepared for the season's rainfall with several roofs completed, prepped for moisture, and other roofs will be assembled in the next few weeks. 

    July/Aug 2022 Update - New construction begins.
    steel framing begins at Benson
    Benson Tech has entered an exciting part of its modernization, new construction!
    Steel framing on 2 story building
    The steel frame structure for one of the new two-story buildings is being erected and that is a significant project milestone.Benson Tech has entered an exciting part of its modernization, new construction!
    Steel framing on 2 story building
    The steel frame structure for one of the new two-story buildings is being erected and that is a significant project milestone.

    Watch the new Benson construction timelapse video

    On the inside of the historic building, preparations for installing the concrete seismic shear walls in the historic Auditorium are nearly ready. The historic classroom wing has finished work on its concrete seismic shear walls, plus new concrete floors, and new framed wood walls have been completed. 

    The main historic building has also had its restored windows reinstalled and the brick and terra cotta cleaned and restored. The building’s roof is now being replaced. The new roof structure uses mass plywood panels (10 feet by 20 feet and two inches thick) for seismic strengthening. 

    In the coming weeks, construction on another new two-story building's steel structure will get underway. 

    June 2022 - Rebuilding the 1917 building from the inside out.
    shotcrete applied to a sheerwall

    Workers are undertaking a month's long process of seismic reinforcement work on the historic 1917 building.  
    sheerwall inside Benson
    They are currently creating sheer walls that connect to new structural footings in the basement and will rise up three stories. This work will bring the school up to the latest seismic safety requirements and make staff and students safer.
    Shotcrete team at work on a sheer wall
    To get the concrete into tight places within the historic building, workers use a method called shotcrete. It can be fed by hose into restricted spaces and it  sprays the concrete into and over the structural steel framework.  It’s a team effort and interesting to watch.   Check out this video on OSM's Instagram.

    All major building demolition is complete. The remaining buildings will be rehabilitated, renovated and updated. The new center of campus will be filled with new two-story classroom and shop buildings, exterior courtyards, and student spaces.

    Scaffolding with a tent over the main building is now complete and will cover it while reroofing of the historic main building is underway.

    The wood floor and concrete slab in the historical gymnasium have been removed. The elevated running track will remain and be structurally retrofitted and rebuilt.

    February 2022 - Seismic strengthening is underway.
    Front of benson with scaffolding

    This month included removing the remaining shop building wings that will be replaced with new buildings. While there will continue to be minor demolition inside the retained historic buildings, the site is open and clear in the center of the campus. Scaffolding at Benson's historic main entry is in place for a tent system, that is being installed to cover the roof.
    Demolition of the C wing Shop Building
    Demolition of the C Wing Shop Building is nearly complete. The concrete slab is being removed and the historic north-facing wall towards Irving Street will remain. A part of Historic Landmarks Commission requirements, it will be rehabilitated with historic windows reinstalled and integrated into the new 2 story shop and classroom wing.
    Excavation basement level of new building B
    Excavation is nearly complete for the basement level of new building B. Building B will include the new library/media center, Health occupations spaces, Counseling/Career wing with lower level band room & music spaces.
    Old Shop Wing Building E is being demolished
    The old Shop Wing Building E is being demolished, with the exception of the historic south-facing wall, which will be retained, rehabilitated and integrated with the new 2-story shop and classroom wing.
    excavation for tunnels and structural footings is occurring
    The original main 1917 school building has been shored with large steel beams and braced while excavation for tunnels and structural footings is occurring. The work along with the addition of new shear walls is part of an overall effort to bring the historic building up to modern seismic safety standards.
     The interior of the Auditorium stairs
    The interior of the Auditorium stairs has been removed for a new elevator shaft, which will provide ADA accessibility to all 3 floors of the renovated theater.

    January 2022 - Exterior demolition is more than halfway done.
    Benson Demolition machines tear at debris

    Demolition is fully underway on the former Benson shop spaces and the north side of the building.

    Wide view of Benson construction site demolition
    The demolition and roof removal work on the north shop wing (C wing) has exposed details of the historical sawtooth roofing. A style of construction no longer common.

    Historic sawtooth roofing North Shop demolition
    In the center of the campus, excavation work involves removing the remaining boiler room basement walls. 

    excavation work in former boiler room
    Inside the building, large steel beams are being installed to support the historic main 1916/1917 building prior to excavation below the main level floor. The excavation is required to accommodate new mechanical systems, access tunnels, and the structural retrofit.

    large steel beams are installed to support the historic main building
    Interior demolition continues in the auditorium around the stage. 

    Interior demolition continues in the auditorium
    The work exposed some amusing "cultural artifacts", graffiti from students of decades past that were hidden behind the walls.
    Graffitti hidden behind the walls
    On the outside of the building's north side along Irving Street, shoring and structural supports are being put in place to prepare for the construction of Building B's new basement.  The lower levels of Building B's are being remodeled to include future Benson music spaces. 
    construction of the new basement along Irving St

    December 2021 - Demolition is progressing. Interior renovation is underway.
    Active building demolition at Benson

    Significant demolition has taken place on Significant demolition has taken place on the site with a focus on the later addition buildings that were clustered in the center of the site. The campus buildings and wings that are being removed include the 1953 Automotive/Aeronautics building, the 1917 boiler house, the 1991 band room addition, the 1953 science addition, and the 1991 library and health occupations addition.
    Benson Buildings now gone from center of campus
    These buildings and wings are being removed to make way for the future social and CTE courtyard areas.
    Reinforcing Historic Benson Brick walls
    Elsewhere, the historic brick walls facing Irving street and Buckman field have been braced to stabilize them prior to the demolition of the shop building. The walls will be renovated and remain as part of the future building. 
    Benson Brick salvage
    Additionally, historic brick salvage is underway and nearly complete. 
    Work inside the Historic Main building
    On the inside of the main 1917 school building, structural framing and hollow clay tile wall upgrades have begun.
    Benson windows removed
    Most of the school's historic windows have also been removed, and will be rehabilitated prior to reinstallation later in the modernization process. 

    Sept 2021 Demolition has begun

     Demo on Auto Building
    Demolition on the former auto shop is underway.
    Benson Gym walls braced up
    Work is also taking place in the gym to shore up the existing wall in preparation for renovation of the historical space. 

    Benson historic windows

    Many of Benson's historic windows have been removed and will be sent out to be refurbushed for later reinstallation.

    August 2021 Groundbreaking

    Groundbreaking at Benson

    View the August Groundbreaking photos here.



Benson Project Photos

Benson Construction 10-27-22

Benson Renderings

Benson Modernization renderings Fall 2020

Benson Flythrough

  • Project Team

    Bassetti Architects is the architecture firm selected for the modernization of Benson Polytechnic High School. Since 1947, Bassetti Architects has designed places where people learn, work, play, and connect. They believe that architecture is most successful when it reflects client goals and thoughtfully interacts with the surroundings. The firm approach is to share their creative synergy and to join with clients and the community in a truly inclusive process with a commitment to excellence.

    Andersen Construction is a Portland based, family owned general contractor that was founded in 1950. The company has grown steadily over the past 70  years, building many Portland landmarks including the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building , Grant Highschool and the (renovated) St. Vincent Hospital patient tower. The Andersen Construction Foundation is an active philanthropic partner with many local community give back programs.