• A busy summer of bond work in PPS

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    Collage of PPS Bond work

    Summer bond project in PPS included (left to right from top) rebuilding Kellogg Middle School; a pilot drinking water project; roof work at Sitton Elementary School; demolition at Madison High School. (Photos by David Mayne)

    This past Saturday a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the opening of the newly modernized Grant High School. Grant was completed after a two-year construction period and is the last project from the landmark 2012 School Improvement Bond. 

    The 2012 Bond funded the modernization of three aging high schools, Franklin, built in 1915, Roosevelt, in 1921, and Grant in 1925, along with the rebuilding of a brand-new Faubion PK-8. The 2012 Bond also brought improvements to 51 other schools across the district including new roofs, seismic upgrades, accessibility projects including new elevators and upgrades to middle school science classrooms. 

    The success of the 2012 Bond paved the way for the May 2017 Bond that continues the District’s commitment to rebuilding all of our schools over the next 30 years. A look at some of the work that went on during a busy summer of bond and construction work in 2019:

    Madison demolition and Kellogg construction
    Construction began on a modernized Madison High School. Hazardous materials abatement took up much of the summer with demolition beginning in August

    Just over a week ago, the foundation was poured at the new Kellogg Middle School, a planned state-of-the-art campus in Southeast Portland. Both Kellogg and the new Madison will open for the 2021-22 school year. 

    Health and safety work continues across the district
    Health and safety upgrades that have touched every school across the district continued this summer with improvements in water quality, the remediation of radon, lead paint and asbestos. District-wide security upgrades also got underway this August. 

    Although the May 2017 bond criteria provided funding and scope for only 11 schools, the security program team recognized the need for additional security across the district and is now providing security improvements at 88 schools and facilities. The work is expected be completed across the entire district during the 2019-20 school year. 

    New roofs at Sitton, Rigler and Jackson
    Sitton Elementary, Rigler Elementary and Jackson Middle School received new seismically strengthened roofs. Because of its size, the Jackson project is scheduled over two years. It will start up again in June 2020 and be completed by the start of school in August of 2020.

    Seismic retrofit underway at Hayhurst Elementary
    Hayhurst Elementary received the first half of a full seismic retrofit that will bring the school up to immediate occupancy seismic standards. Like Jackson, the remaining work will resume next summer and be completed by the fall of 2020. PPS was able to leverage existing bond funds together with grants from our state partner, Business Oregon, which operates the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP), to undertake the Hayhurst project. SRGP funds have made seismic retrofit projects at Alameda, Franklin, Lewis and Grant possible over the last seven years.  

    Water quality improvements continue with pilot program
    PPS is also leading the way in water quality with a new pilot program that could lower lead levels in our school’s water to among the lowest in the country while saving millions of dollars in construction costs. 

    The PPS Water Quality Program successfully replaced all the common area drinking water fixtures in the District last year. However, several schools still have a large number of drinking fixtures that test high for lead due to suspected problems with the pipes in the walls. These fixtures have remained off since 2016 and now require expensive and disruptive in-the-wall partial pipe replacement.

    Six schools -- Arleta, Duniway, Jefferson High School, Llewellyn, Rigler and Robert Gray Middle School -- are getting new Drinking Water Stations (DWS) fitted with a highly effective 3M lead filter as part of a PPS pilot program. This program is something no other school district in Oregon is doing and a significantly less expensive alternative to replacing pipes in the walls. 

    The initial results are very promising, with many fixtures showing levels at less than 1 part per billion (ppb). State-mandated action levels for lead are 15 ppb. Frequent monitoring of the water at these schools over the next several months will determine if the program can be rolled out to additional schools. For more information, visit the PPS Water Quality Pilot Project web page.

    -David Mayne, Bond Communications Manager