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About Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current | View Entire Issue (May 10, 2017)
Reo’s Up in
See Local News, page 3
Play takes you
on an amazing
Owner thinks fire
was racial attack
See Metro, page 9
Volume XLVI • Number 19
Wednesday • May 10, 2017
Established in 1970
Committed to Cultural Diversity
effort faces votes
by Z aChary S enn
t he P ortland o bServer
Just a few days are left to cast ballots in a proposed
school bond of historic proportions that would continue
a schedule of major upgrades to Portland Public Schools.
Measure 26-193 would raise $790 million dollars to
pay for rebuilding and renovating three high schools and a
middle school, and make health and safety repairs to near-
ly every school building in the district. Ballots must be re-
ceived at county elections offices or at official ballot drop
off sites by Tuesday, May 16 at 8 p.m..
The measure is the largest property tax bond proposed
in Oregon’s history and the second of a long range mod-
ernization effort for Portland’s schools that follows the
district’s 2012 bond that paid for modernizing Roosevelt
and Franklin High Schools and the rebuilding of Faubi-
on Elementary in northeast Portland. If approved, the new
levy would raise property taxes by $1.40 per $1,000 of
assessed value for four years.
Jeremy Wright, campaign director for the “Portlanders
for Safe Schools” yes campaign says that last year’s lead
drinking water crisis underscored the need to fix school
infrastructure in old and failing buildings.
“If we don’t pass this measure,” Wright told the Port-
land Observer, “the district will continue to spend more
money on health and safety emergencies.”
The new bond would pay for remodeling of Benson and
Madison High Schools in northeast Portland into modern
school facilities, completely rebuild Lincoln High School,
downtown, Kellogg Middle School in southeast Portland,
and fix aging infrastructure in every school, including the
removal of lead paint and lead in drinking water.
On a press tour of the nearly-completed Franklin last week,
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler who has endorsed the district’s
new funding measure, spoke to the need to continue provid-
ing Portlanders with safe and state-of-the-art learning spaces.
Franklin High School Principal Juanita Valder accom-
panied the mayor with four of her ‘bookend’ students.
These students attended their freshman year at the old,
pre-renovated Franklin and will finish out their senior year
C ontinued on P age 4
A crewmember from Skanska USA, the construction firm contracted by Portland Public Schools to complete
the renovation of Franklin High School, works to remodel and modernize the historic building’s central atrium.
Franklin High School was originally built in 1917.