The original bond program was $482 million. So far, $18 million in funding has been added from various sources:
- In some cases, additional funds like the state grant made it possible to take on an additional project, such as the full seismic retrofit completed at Alameda Elementary School in summer 2013.
- In other cases, changes made to a project required a budget adjustment. See the Franklin High School example in the high school budgets question below.
PPS staff reports to the school board about the status of each project and its budget monthly. The Bond Accountability Committee reports to the board quarterly and financial and performance auditors report annually
In November 2013, the school board decided
to use bond reserves to increase the size of the high schools to reflect updated enrollment projections and expected growth in the Portland area. The bond will now design each high school to serve 1,700 students.
PPS based the original capital bond program on the Long Range Facilities Plan
, approved in spring 2012. That plan, based on projections at the time, called for high schools that could each serve 1,500 students.
The budgets for rebuilding the high schools have grown due to:
- An increase in projected enrollment, requiring larger buildings.
- The desire to make more classes per day available to students, requiring more classrooms.
- The recent ability to hire more teachers and reduce class size, also requiring more classrooms.
- The opportunity for educators, students and community members to more specifically define their needs than was possible when the bond was in the proposal phase as a ballot measure.
- Increases in construction costs.
For example, Franklin High School:
- November 2012: Franklin was originally planned for 1,500 students. Cost: $85 million
- November 2013: The school board used new enrollment and growth projections to approve increasing to 1,700 students. Cost: $4.5 million from bond reserves. (Total: $89.5 million)
- June 2014: The school board approved the Franklin schematic design that further increased the school size. Cost: $8 million from funds set aside for construction inflation cost escalation. (Total: $97.5 million)
At this time, the school board is considering ways to add more classrooms to Franklin, Grant and Roosevelt which, if approved, will further increase project costs.
Yes. PPS is using two documents to guide design and hence budget parity in the modernized schools. Using these documents for guidance, staff and the school board have taken considerable care to equitably apply to all of the high schools any refinements that have been made during the design process to the size, configuration and budget for each school.
The Long Range Facilities Plan
, the basis of the 2012 bond, envisioned modernized high schools with a common set of features, such as a mix of classroom, hands-on and career learning spaces and such public spaces as a theater and a student commons. The Education Specifications created a framework for how the PPS academic program is translated into classrooms and common spaces.
At the same time, parity does not mean identical.
As referenced in the guiding themes at the beginning of this document, PPS seeks a balance between equitable learning spaces and buildings designed to meet the individual needs and interests of students in specific school communities.
PPS is using several factors:
- Projected enrollment and the square footage needed to fit that number of students.
- Desired class size, which helps determine how many teachers and how many classrooms are needed.
- How many of the rooms are expected to be in use at any given time. PPS is planning for 100 percent utilization of classrooms.
- How many and what size of support spaces (labs, library, cafeteria, meeting space, offices, etc.) are needed to support the projected enrollment.
- Each school’s master schedule that, for example, sets how many sections of the Freshman Humanities class will be offered in a teaching day and at what times.
Some of these factors, such as the desired number of classes each student should be able to take or the desired class size, are defined at a district level and are largely consistent across schools.
Other factors such as the school’s master schedule, vary by school based on the needs and interests of each student body, and can result in different demands for classroom type and number.
For example: Currently, Roosevelt students enrolled in Algebra take one period of Algebra and one period of Algebra support, while Franklin students enrolled in Algebra do not take the additional support period. As a result, Roosevelt needs more general education classrooms to accommodate more students in longer core curriculum classes. As needs change over time, classrooms will be used in different ways.
Extensive discussion with PPS educators and school communities about the use of space in our high schools led the Portland School Board in May 2014 to explore adding more classrooms and related support spaces. The discussion is driven by the desire to increase the number of credits students can earn over their high school career, lower the teacher to student ratio, and link related classroom usage and teacher planning periods where feasible.
Decisions that come out of this discussion will further influence high school designs.
PPS anticipated the need and defined guidelines for balancing cost with longevity and functionality in the Long Range Facility Plan Guiding Principles
(Pages 16-18) Examples include:
- Manage costs and longevity: Selection of cost-effective yet durable materials in such key areas as flooring, roofing, plumbing, etc.
- Functionality: A balance of standardized teaching and learning spaces (for example, classrooms of a certain size) with a variety of other learning spaces, such as extended classroom space and commons areas, all with an eye toward flexible use over time.
- Sustainability: The building industry uses a widely recognized ranking system to measure the sustainability of a building over time. PPS is using a minimum standard of LEED silver for the buildings, such as the high schools, that are being modernized and a minimum standard of LEED gold for buildings, such as Faubion PK-8, that will be replaced with new construction.
Many public and private improvement projects include requirements to construct related transportation improvements as a part of the work. PPS and the City have agreed the City will design and construct any required transportation projects in the City’s right-of-way. PPS provided $5 million in bond funds to the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) as the total cost of PPS’ commitment for these projects. Our agreement prioritizes student transportation safety projects required as conditions of permit approvals associated with schools receiving full modernization (Franklin, Grant and Roosevelt High Schools) or replacement (Faubion PreK-8). Other summer improvement project school sites may also be included, as funds allow, to receive transportation improvements that support safe walking and biking to school.
PPS offers numerous opportunities for public involvement in the bond projects:
- A citizen Bond Accountability Committee (BAC), chartered to review bond projects and offer advice directly to the school board, meets quarterly. Citizens may attend and observe these public meetings.
- Each school that is being rebuilt or replaced has a community-based Design Advisory Group that provides input to the architect on the project. (Example: Design Advisory Group charter for Roosevelt.)
- When the schematic design for a bond project is approved by the school board, public involvement narrows so that the work of finalizing architectural drawings and preparing for construction can be done.
- PPS staff gives monthly written and quarterly oral reports to the Portland School Board on bond project progress. The board meeting schedule and agendas are shared with the public and available on the school board website. The meetings include time for public comment.
- PPS also makes presentations to neighborhood, business and parent groups as staff capacity allows.
- The PPS bond website is continuously updated with project details, public workshops and open houses and other ways to stay informed. If you have questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-916-2222.