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PPS Bond Measure and Hillsdale Schools

[Posted November 1, 2020]

On the ballot for Tuesday’s election is the latest renewal of the school bond to upgrade and replace Portland Public Schools facilities. This is a renewal, so if the measure passes it will not further increase in property taxes. Hillsdale is home to three schools in the PPS system--Rieke Elementary, Gray Middle, Wilson High. We looked at how the previous bonds benefited Hillsdale schools, and improvements the new bond could bring.

Wondering what the PPS bond renewal will pay for in Hillsdale if approved?

According to the PPS bond website, if the current proposal passes on November 3, all district schools will receive curriculum and technology upgrades. A rebuild of Wilson High School was originally slated to be part of the 2020 bond, but instead a fourth bond is planned. The cost to rebuild Wilson (as well as Cleveland) would be included in that future bond. Funding for the planning process of the Wilson rebuild is included in the bond currently on the ballot.

In an email, a PPS Communications spokesperson said that while the new bond includes money for health and safety investments in schools across the district, there are no specific plans yet for which schools will get these improvements.

Wondering what the two past bonds have paid for in Hillsdale?

Here’s the list from the PPS Communications department email:

2012 Bond: Wilson High school received a new seismically strengthened roof and some ADA upgrades. Robert Gray received ADA and science classroom upgrades.

2017 Bond: Rieke, Robert Gray, and Wilson each received water quality improvements to reduce lead in the water levels to at or below EPA mandated levels. Each Hillsdale school also received security upgrades through the PPS secure schools program. Lead paint stabilization work has been done at Rieke. Fire alarm systems have been upgraded at Gray.

The 2017 bond paid for a limited conceptual master planning process at Wilson.

Robert Gray was one of six schools in a pilot project funded by the 2017 bond that utilized new drinking water stations with a lead filter that substantially lowered lead levels in those schools’ drinking water to an average below 1 part per billion.

More details about past bond investments in Hillsdale schools are available at PPS's Interactive Bond Project Map.

--Valeurie Friedman


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