By Nancy Varekamp | CNews Editor
In a few weeks Madison High School students will pack their schoolbags and head to classes – at Marshall High School. In the meantime, the Madison building is two months into 24 months of renovation and modernization.
The $201.5 million for the project was approved by voters in 2017, along with funds for projects at Kellogg Middle School, and Lincoln and Benson high schools.
“Madison’s proposed modernization will completely reconfigure and update learning spaces with a focus on indoor environmental quality, sustainability and historic preservation,” reported Harry Esteve, Portland Public Schools communications director.
Major items in the project are:
- Cafeteria, commons and an atrium will connect all major wings and three classroom levels to the main entrance.
- Science labs will consolidate near the front of the school.
- Performing arts will move into a stateof-the-art music and theater facility.
- Community resources will continue to include a child care center, clinic and food pantry.
- Athletics facilities will feature an entirely new gym building with a 1,700-seat main gym, auxiliary gym, weight room, wrestling/dance room and a new softball field.
- Career technical education specialty labs – for digital design, engineering, robotics, digital art, biomedical, sculpture, construction and sustainable agriculture – will adjoin new maker space.
Square footage of the school buildings will be 292,000, an increase of 170,000 square feet to accommodate 1,700 students. Enrollment in the 2017-18 school year was 1,146.
General contractor is Fortis Construction Inc., a local, employee-owned firm. Fifty subcontractors and many more second-tier subcontractors will provide a workforce expected to peak at 300.
As for the students during the next two years, assistant vice principal Lajena Broadous said only the Marshall building will be different.
“The same great Madison teachers, staff and programs will be there. There’s even a new turf field and track.”
Depending on where they live, students will use private and/or public transit to commute to Marshall, 3.8 miles south of the Madison campus.
Nancy Varekamp is semiretired from her career in journalism, public relations and – her favorite work engagement – writing and editing targeted newsletters.