Pencils, books, hardhats: PPS preps for school


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Next Monday, students will be walking the halls at the Harriet Tubman Middle School in Portland. But right now the school is a major construction zone inside and out.

Tubman is one of several school getting work done this summer, with much of the work being done with money from the May 2017 bond.

Workers rush to finish the updates at Harriet Tubman Middle School in Portland before students arrive next week, August 20, 2018 (KOIN)

At Lewis Elementary in Southeast Portland, there is earthquake retrofitting underway along with fire alarm and sprinkler improvements plus handicap access.

Harry Esteve with Public Portland Schools told KOIN 6 News the schools will be ready — but construction work will be ongoing at some spots.

“We have to think of ways to make sure we work around students, work after school often, sometimes before,” Esteve said. Though many projects aren’t able to be completed over the summer, “when kids come to school they are going to see it as a school, not as a construction site.”

Fencing went up at some schools to make sure kids stay away from the construction hazards until the projects are totally wrapped up.

PPS said all the schools will have full cleanup from the lead paint and asbestos work before students return to the hallways.

The health and safety improvements paid also included replacing the hallway drinking fountains and school kitchen faucets in all the schools with lead problems.

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