• Harriet Tubman Middle School update for July 20

    A group of parents

    A group of parents, teachers and staff recently toured Harriet Tubman Middle School and posed in front of pieces of the HVAC system that is being installed.

    Starting in September 2017, PPS conducted several months of Harriet Tubman Middle School community engagement meetings at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Irvington, Martin Luther King Jr., and Sabin schools. These included an open house attended by 450 people, and several tours of the building with families, community members and staff.  Updates were provided at each meeting, by Principal Natasha Butler, district leadership and other staff.

    After months of demolition and construction to remove and replace the roof, install a state-of-the-art heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to address air quality issues, replace aging window frames, construct three new science classrooms and install a new dance studio and floor, Harriet Tubman Middle School is taking shape to reopen for the 2018-19 school year.

    An air quality study report, which Portland Public Schools commissioned Portland State University to conduct, was completed in April and was shared publicly during a presentation to all of the Harriet Tubman feeder schools on May 14, as well as a televised presentation to the Portland Public Schools Board of Education the following week.

    Planning has begun for a grand opening celebration. Work progresses, and any potential unforeseen issues that could cause a delay in opening by a few days are being identified and closely watched. As with any project of this size and complexity, there can often be last-minute issues that need to be addressed, which could cause a delay in opening the school. Currently, we are on track to open on time, but we need to be prepared.

    In the event of a delay, district facilities and asset management staff are identifying a potential temporary site where students could receive instruction during the first week of school, if necessary.  With construction crews racing toward the finish line, the decision as to whether the site will be ready to open by the first day of school will be made no later than Aug. 15.  

    The PPS Board will receive a comprehensive update at the Tuesday, July 24 Board meeting at 6 p.m. You are invited to attend the meeting, watch the meeting on CH 28, or watch the meeting online through the PPS livestream.

    Thank you for your attention, concern and support as we work together to open Harriet Tubman Middle School.