, (PressExposure) April 28, 2009 -- Cathy Mincberg, Chief Operating Officer of the Portland Public Schools, has led a two-year-long effort to examine the physical condition of the Portland school facilities. "This assessment has found the school buildings of PPS are in major need of renovation," says Dr. Mincberg. This work led the School Board, at their February 9, 2009 board meeting, to approve borrowing about $25 million dollars. On March 30, the board approved spending the majority of those funds on the renovation of 9 school roofs and the placement of solar film on each roof.
The school buildings of Portland Public Schools ( http://www.pps.k12.or.us/ ) are, on the average, 65 years old. This is 20 years older than the average for schools nationwide. PPS last passed a facilities bond in 1997 and has had minimal funding for facilities since that bond was exhausted, primarily doing seismic and boiler work.
To begin the process of understanding the current condition of the facilities and to build community understanding, Dr. Mincberg and her staff conducted a day and a half long community visioning session, "ReShape School: Space + Place Summit". The event yielded a set of five Facilities Guiding Principles ( [http://sn.im/pps_facility_principles] ). These Guiding Principles will shape how the district plans for the creation of 21st century schools. At the conclusion of the Summit, the district set about a complete assessment of every facility in its portfolio.
Under the leadership of Dr. Mincberg, the extensive assessment of the PPS schools examined every room, every roof, every boiler, and every nook and cranny in each building. The assessment, done by Magellan and Co., was complete in the fall of 2007 and concluded that PPS needed over $800 million just to renovate buildings where major systems such as heating and electrical were well past their useful life. It is this assessment that was the basis for deciding which projects to tackle during this first phase, and led to selecting 9 roofs for renovation. ( [http://sn.im/pps_facility_summary] )
"The district and the community have worked hard for the past two years to better understand the condition of each PPS school facility. There is a growing realization that buildings wear out and need major upgrades. The community has developed a vision to guide future facilities work, and the staff is ready to begin," according to Portland Public Schools COO Mincberg.
For more information, please contact Dr. Cathy Mincberg, Chief Operating Officer at Portland Public Schools ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or CJ Sylvester, the director of 21st Century Schools ( email@example.com )