Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current, May 10, 2017, Page Page 4, Image 4

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    Page 4
May 10, 2017
Construction crews work to complete the modernization of Franklin High School. The renovation
process is preserving the campus’ historic buildings, while adding new wings that complement the
existing 100-year-old structure.
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at the completed structure.
“We had a 100 year old build-
ing,” Valder said, “So it was time.”
Pointing to the tremendous im-
pact of the 2012 bond measure
on her students, Valder says that
it’s essential to continuing fund-
ing school revitalization for Port-
land’s long-term economic health.
“Investing in our children is in-
vesting in our future,” explained
Valder. “It’s an effective use of
money that will support our kids
for the next 100 years.”
She adds that by making lasting
contributions into the education
system, students will be able to
achieve greater academic success.
“It’s amazing to watch the faces
of the four that are here today…
They feel valued,” Valder said.
Christina Strommer, a 16-year-
old Franklin High School junior,
says that the building improve-
ments are also enhancing her
educational opportunities. She
compares the new technologies
that are being implemented in the
campus’ classrooms and theatre
to those you’d find at a four-year
university.
“Even the little things are really
making a difference,” Strommer
said. “Having advanced classes in
this advanced building is just an
absolute treat.”
17-year-old Franklin High
School junior Michelle Jaramillo
says that the new features at her
school, such as increased natural
light and more classroom space,
will help her focus as she contin-
ues on in her academic career.
“Having bigger classrooms and
fewer distractions will really help
us improve our focus,” Jaramillo
stated.
Despite the clear success of the
2012 school bond measure, pub-
lic confidence in PPS has waned
over the leadership of the district
and former Superintendent Carole
Smith’s resignation last year.
Wright explains, however, that
community members’ concerns
with school administration should
not affect their decision on the
school bond.
“The school modernization
work is overseen by a citizen ad-
visory board, the Bond Advisory
Committee,” Wright said.
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Addressing the anticipation
for a new superintendent and
the three board members’ slots
open and up for election, he says
“We’re at a juncture for the dis-
trict to turn a corner and begin a
new chapter.”
Buildings renovated by the
bond measure will comply with
the U.S. Green Building Council’s
LEED Silver certification. Wright
says that by minimizing the ener-
gy used by PPS facilities, follow-
ing these stringent environmental
guidelines will actually help the
school system reduce its operating
expenses over time.
Wright emphasizes that the
bond presents a long-term solu-
tion to PPS’ infrastructural woes,
rather than a series of temporary
fixes.
“This is our best opportunity
to impact the lives of Portlanders
for many generations,” Wright
said. “When our students are pro-
vided learning opportunities in
safe, healthy, modern and efficient
schools, they’ll be better equipped
to compete in college and career.”
Vote-by-mail ballots must be
received before 8 p.m. on Tues-
day, May 16. Postmarked dates
are not accepted. Ballots can also
be deposited at any official elec-
tion drop box prior to 8 p.m.
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Chiropractic Physician
Call for Appointment: 503-228-6140