Grant Modernization

  • Grant High School Modernization a $116.1 million investment in Northeast Portland.  Check out the series of remodel drone videos made by a student from Grant High School.
    Construction began June 2017
    Construction complete Fall 2019
    Grant Modernization FAQs
    Grant FAQ's in Español
    mahlum logo  
    contractor Andersen/colas logo

    Grant High School is the 3rd PPS high schools being modernized as part of the 2012 School Building Improvement Bond. Grant's modernization will completely reconfigure and update learning spaces with a focus on indoor environmental quality, sustainability and historic preservation. Construction began in the summer of 2017 and students are scheduled to return to a Modernized Grant in the fall of 2019.

  • Project Updates

    Focus on the interior - February 1, 2018

    Grant exterior brick work

    The project is wrapping up work on the building’s exterior; roofs complete, windows installed, the new brickwork will be finished shortly. At this point the team has turned their focus to the interiors. Additionally, landscaping is underway, starting with new entries, walkways and landscape walls.  This work is currently most visible on the eats side of the building along NE 36th.

    New Gym: All of the basketball hoops have been installed in both the main and auxiliary gyms. The HVAC has been installed throughout the building. All practice rooms and teaching spaces are framed and the band room is currently receiving sheetrock. On the exterior of the new gym all of the new brick is complete.

    Interior classrooms and offices: Crews continue to work from north to south in the main building for maximum efficiency. In the north end, which includes 12 new science classrooms, they are installing cabinetry, tile, lighting and lockers. Classrooms and offices at the southern end of the building are currently being framed.

    Auditorium:  The team has completed abatement on the auditorium ceiling and have installed the new acoustic panels. In early February the scaffolding will come down, allowing work to start on floors and windows. The new entryway to the auditorium has also been framed. Downstairs, in the Blackbox and Dance studio the sheet rock work is completed and windows have been installed in the new flex space between the Maker Space and Dance studio.

    1923 Gym:  Classrooms in our new art building are framed, with sheet rocked and finishes are starting to be installed. These include Photography, Printmaking, 2D and 3D art, Graphic Design and Digital Media. The new elevator is in place and windows on both the first and second floors are complete.

    Exterior work on Grant nearly complete - Dec 2018

    Grant interior hallway drywall work

    As winter begins, much of the exterior work on the new Grant is complete. This includes roofs on all the buildings, exterior waterproofing with a majority of the new windows in place. The skylights have been replaced and about 80% of the new brickwork is complete. The focus has now moved to the interior of the building where the teams are making great progress.

    Project highlights include:

    New Gym: The ceiling mounted basketball hoops have been installed in the main gym. More will be installed in the auxiliary gym soon. Plumbing and HVAC are well underway in all areas of the new gym with wall framing mostly complete and drywall to follow shortly.

    Interior classrooms and offices: Interior work for the project started in the north part of the school and has moved south. This allows the team to maximize the number of trades working on the project. As a result, the classrooms in the north wing of the school are completely drywalled and painted. Towards the south end of the building crews are framing and roughing in plumbing, electric and HVAC.

    Auditorium: Crews are wrapping up the abatement and restoration work on the ceiling of the original auditorium. The concrete stage thrust extension is in place and new windows have been installed at the rear of the building. In the lower level of the auditorium, concrete work is complete, including new ramps connecting the flex space area to the main hall. Framing for the dance studio and black box is in place.

    Exterior hardscaping: While most of the exterior work to the buildings is complete, the focus is not on sculpting the grounds around the school. This includes new walkways, ramps, north and south courtyards and the covered bike area to the west of the school.

    Lots of Activity - October 2018

    grant new windows

    The Grant construction site is full of activity this fall.  Roofers, painters, electricians, floor finishers, window installers, bricklayers and framers are all involved at various places on the new campus as it moves closer to completion. The site has been averaging between 225 – 250 construction crew members per day.

    Highlights of the fall work include:

    1923 Gym: The new arts building is really taking shape. Interior framing, mechanical, electrical rough-in and floor finishing is underway in the interior. The roof is 90% complete and the restored windows are in place in the second floor.  If you walk by the building you can see the excavation for the future play area of the Teen Parent Center on the south side of the building and the new entry on the north.

    1923 gym interior

    New Gym: The roof is nearing completion, waterproofing is done, windows are starting to be framed in and the bricklayers are starting to prep for the exterior brick veneer. Interior framing, plumbing, electrical and mechanical rough-in is also underway.

    Grant Gym interior Oct 3

    West Side additions: Structural components for the library, cafeteria, and classrooms are complete. Windows are 90% installed and the brick exterior of the southern addition will be complete by the end of October.

    Auditorium: Historic restoration on the interior of the auditorium continues with floors being finished on the stage and in the future wood shop. Crews have poured the new ramps into the auditorium from the main hall. These ramps will make the auditorium ADA compliant.

    Sidewalks and Street Lights: Construction and installation of new sidewalks and street lights is complete. Our goal is to have the lights turned back on by the end of October.

    Lots of Activity - July 2018

    New grant gym

    Things are really starting to take shape at the Grant modernization site. Crews have completed a significant amount of the structural and seismic work. This can be seen in the amount of steel erected and concrete poured over the last month. We still have crews working on almost every inch of the project whether on the upgrade of the 1923 brick façade, the roofs, polishing concrete floors, building the new gym or laying mechanical, electrical, and plumbing throughout the building.

    A few highlights from the last month include;

    Grant Park pool is open! The construction and project teams worked closely with Portland Parks and Recreation to ensure a timely open for Grant Park pool on June 19th. This included pouring a new sidewalk, creating new pathways from the park to the pool, and locating alternate ADA parking near Hollyrood School.

    2nd floor new arts complex

    1923 Gym is becoming the Visual Arts complex: A new second floor is in place, replacing the previous elevated track in the 1923 gym, making way for two floors of visual arts classrooms. The steel has been erected, concrete floors poured, the elevator shaft has been formed and new windows cut out of the first floor of the building. These new windows can be seen from the Hollyrood side of Grant Park.

    Roofing work is in full swing:  Crews are taking advantage of this beautiful summer weather and are working hard on getting all the roofing work complete. All areas of the project are getting new roofs. This includes new and replacement skylights through out the project. We are also incorporating photovoltaic arrays to provide solar energy to the school.

    walkway new addition

    What to watch for in the neighborhood: PPS is working with Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to upgrade the right of way along NE US Grant and NE 36th Avenue. Upgrades include replacing the street lights, as the existing lights are no longer supported by PBOT, and replacing sidewalks to ensure ADA compliance and room for tree growth. This will mean some sidewalks will be closed for short periods of time while we complete this work.

    Lots of Activity - June 2018

     Grant Sparks flying during construction

    Grant’s Modernization has entered a very busy phase with a crew size of 200 people working now on the site. Any given day it is possible to find everything from concrete work to rough-in electrical and floor polishing occurring somewhere in the building.

    Structural Steel: Most of the structural steel for the 50’ west addition is in place. Crews are laying the deck and tying the addition to the existing building. The concrete floors have been poured in some locations of the addition, such as the future library.Additionally, the structural steel has been erected in the 1923 gym, giving shape to the future visual arts classrooms.

    Seismic upgrades: We continue with seismic work throughout the building. Some areas such as the 1923 gym and the north wing of the main building are mostly complete. Seismic upgrades are still underway in the auditorium and south end of the main building.

     Grant seismic shear wall

    Wall Framing: Crews have begun to frame the interior walls starting in the north wing of the main building. Following closely behind are plumbers and electricians roughing in all the new systems for the school.

    Grant hallway framing

    North Parking lot: The work includes pouring a new sidewalk at the west end of the parking lot, tying it into existing park pathways, and creating an asphalt drive for delivery, maintenance and emergency vehicles. The parking lot will not be open for pool guests, but will be available to vehicles supporting the pool operations.

    Concrete and Steel - April 2018

     Grant gym concrete pour

    In the last month, the modernization project has made significant strides in a number of key areas;

    The team has completed a great deal of the underground infrastructure. Some of this has been inside the building, particularly in the north and south wings of the main building. A large amount of the infrastructure work can be seen in the north parking lot. Primary components include the creation of a site wide storm water management system that will utilize the footprint of the former 1956 gym as a storm water detention gallery. In addition, we continue to upgrade and connect to the existing underground infrastructure.

     Concrete trucks have been almost a daily sight the last few weeks. Various concrete pours have included footings and foundations in the 1923 gym, the north and south wings of the main building, and the auditorium. Concrete shear walls are being poured across the whole project. These walls extend from the foundations to the roof and are a major component of the seismic upgrades included in the modernization.

     Structural steel for the seismic upgrades to the existing structure is well underway.  The crews will be setting the structure for the 50-foot West addition as well this next month.

     Framing of interior walls has begun. Crews have started in the north wing of the main building. Following closely behind are the plumbers and electricians, roughing in the new systems for the school.

    Exterior masonry restoration is largely complete on all sides of the 1923 gym. Crews are currently working on the east façade of the main building which was also constructed in 1923. They are replacing damaged bricks with a mix of salvaged and new bricks.  Additionally, crews are removing and replacing the existing mortar with a mix to minimize damage to the bricks while increasing water protection for the building.

    Moving from demolition to new construction - March 2018

    Grant old gym drilling doorways

    The modernization is rapidly moving from demolition to new construction.  While there are a few areas of the project still in demolition, concrete and structural steel work began in earnest last month. Those efforts are expanding throughout the site as crews are pouring foundations, building shear walls, and restoring and repairing existing concrete floors and ceilings.

     Here are updates in key areas;

    • Most of the below grade walls for the new athletic facility on the south end of campus have been poured. The crews are preparing to pour the slab of the main gym and continue to add infrastructure under the locker rooms and weight room.
    • While protecting the historic aspects of the auditorium, targeted areas have been demolished and are being prepared for new construction. The area between the main building and auditorium has been opened up to make way for the new three-story central staircase, seismic upgrades and ADA access into the auditorium.
    • Work is underway in the north parking lot. The fence has been expanded to the northern edge of the project, and the existing curbs and landscape are being removed to make room for the additional parking area and bioswale.
    • Masonry restoration continues on the facades of the 1923 gym and east façade of the main building. Crews have been working since September to remove and replace the existing mortar and damaged bricks. Replacing the mortar will extend the life of the buildings by creating less damage to the bricks and providing increased protection from the elements.

    1st major concrete pour for the new gym - January 2018

    wide view of grant concrete pour

    Demolition is almost complete and new construction can be seen across the campus. If you were to drive or walk by the buildings right now you would be able to see right through them, as all the walls and windows have been removed. This month the project is all about concrete and underground utilities; building foundations across the campus for the new and remodeled areas, as well as installation of the deep sanitary systems.

    On the south end of the campus concrete footings have been poured for the new athletic facility, which will house the main and auxiliary gyms, weight room, band room and wrestling room. The crews are hard at work forming and pouring the below grade walls of the gym. In the main building, we are getting ready to start the foundation for the 50’ addition along the west side of the existing school. The excavation to connect the existing north and south wing basements is complete. Crews are preparing to pour the new footings and erect the steel which will form the new exterior wall. Over in the 1923 gym concrete footings have been poured that will bring the building into compliance with current structural and building codes and support the new life of the building as a visual arts complex.

    workers pouring concrete for wall of new gym

    Additionally, crews have been busy up in the north parking lot. Utility work has begun to support the modernized building. This is deepest utility work we will do on the site, eventually creating a 15’ deep seepage trench to manage the storm water on site. Concurrently crews have begun to remove shrubs and trees to make way for an expanded parking lot and turn-around, to be located at the west end of the parking lot, right next to the pool.

    1956 Gym is Demolished - November 2017

    Grant Gym Demolition
    The last existing building at Grant to be demolished has come down! Just prior to Thanksgiving the demolition team brought down the 1956 Gym, which was often referred to by the Grant community as the “New Gym”. It was originally built to house an automotive shop and regulation sized gym. Most recently, it was the location of the weight room, wrestling room, dance studio, batting cages, and main gym. Parts of the gym will see new life when Grant reopens in 2019.  Keep an eye out for sections of the gym floor and bleachers in the modernized campus.

    With the 1956 gym removed, the historic front of the 1923 gym has become wholly visible. This little gem (also known as the “old gym”, was built as part of the original school and has been covered up for the past 50 years. The 1923 gym will be renovated as an arts complex, housing all of the visual arts programs and a central gallery space. The elevated track has been removed to make way for second floor classrooms.

    On the other end of campus, excavation is complete for the new athletic facility. This will house a regulation size gym with seating for 1,700, an auxiliary gym, weight room, concessions, band room and spin area. Soon crews will begin installing underground utilities and structure.

    As of the Thanksgiving break, about 80% of the planned demolition has been completed. If you look at most parts of the school you will be able to look straight through the building as no walls are left, only the concrete floors and the structure.
    Demolition and abatement October 2017
    Grant brick & window work
    Demolition and abatement are in full swing at Grant High School. Most of the former outbuildings have been removed including the science building, library and all three portables. The is also slated for demolition this fall. The team is in the process of salvaging the gym floor and bleacher wood from the 1956 gym for use in the modernized school. Once salvage is complete the “new” 1956 gym will be demolished.

    Exterior brick restoration has begun.  This is largely focused on the portions of the school that were built in 1923; the east elevation of the main building (facing NE 36th) and the 1923 gym, which is being redesigned as the arts complex. If you are in the park, you may see work being done to remove the existing mortar which will be replaced with a mortar that will elongate the life of the bricks. The original mortar had a tendency to crack the bricks and make them fail, so this process is designed to stop that. Additionally, we are removing and replacing failed bricks at the 1923 buildings to better protect the structures from rain.

    You might notice that the west side of the school facing the park has been stripped of the windows and brick. This side of the building will be extended by fifty feet, adding new construction to the renovated building. What you currently see will become an interior wall in the final configuration. The addition will be a three-story structure, designed to connect the north and south basement classrooms to the rest of the school.

    Lastly, excavation for the new athletic facility is underway at the south side of the site. This new facility will house the main gym, an auxiliary gym, locker rooms, weight room and band room.

    Construction Begins August 2017

    Grant sign ver 2.0 coming fall 2019
    Construction is now underway for the Modernization of Grant High School. Construction crews are working on abatement of materials in the historic buildings and those structures that will be demolished to make way for new facilities.  The Grant staff and teachers have taken up residence in the former Marshall High Campus that will serve as Grant's temporary home for the next two years. Transportation systems are now in place to help students reach the Marshall campus once school starts on August 30th. For more information please consult this tranportation to Marshall FAQ and this new interactive map shows the transportation options for reaching Marshall.
    Grant Students at groundbreaking

    After a joyous groundbreaking ceremony on June 3rd the Grant Community is preparing for the transition to the Marshall Campus.  The Grant site will be closed off by late June and abatement will begin shortly after that.

Grant Project Images

Grant concrete pour 1-30-18
  • Construction Information

    The construction schedule is typically 7am-5pm, Mon.-Fri. However some work may occur on evenings and weekends.
  • Project Team 

    Mahlum is the architecture firm that PPS selected for the modernization of Grant High School. Deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest, Mahlum creates spaces that express the culture, aspirations and identity of the communities they serve, distinctively honoring the character of each K-12 school they design.
    Andersen Colas Construction joint venture team is the CM/GC contractor for the modernization of Grant High School.  As two locally owned, multi-generational, family-run construction companies, Andersen Colas is excited to play a vital role in the transformation of this historic community school.