2011 Proposed Capital Bond
Handouts & Materials
- Bond Materials
- Superintendent's Proposal for School Modernization
- Summary of Superintendent's Proposal
- Chart of Proposed Modernization Projects
- District Map of Proposed Modernization Projects
- List of Proposed Work, by School
- Economic Impact Report
- Superintendent's Listening Sessions
- Measure 26-121 Listening Session Summary
- Upcoming Events
- No Events Scheduled
- Past Events
- Superintendent's Listening Sessions
Call for a Bond
In October 2010, the School Board issued a call to the Superintendent for a plan to modernize the district’s schools. Noting an average PPS school age of 65 years, Director David Wynde issued a report outlining the assessment and community work done in the recent years and the need to update the schools in light of changes in building code, technology and teaching practices.
On November 8, Superintendent Carole Smith delivered her plan to the School Board and outlined the many needs across the district including leaking roofs and out-of-date and undersized facilities. The Superintendent proposed a $548 million bond to address Phase I needs through full building modernizations at several schools, and other strategic upgrades across the district. Schools and projects were determined using the criteria and guiding principles heard from the community and based on the needs determined by the building assessments. The three priorities of the program were:
- Providing rebuilt schools for as many students possible
- Addressing schools with high needs
- Geographic diversity, for equity and logistics
The bond program was structured so the school upgrades and rebuilding would be almost completely paid for upon completion in the first six years. This strategy was proposed to save more than $200 million in interest payments.
The district retained ECONorthwest to assemble a bond economic impact report. This report determined that the proposed bond would regionally create hundreds of jobs in the design and construction industries, and have an estimated economic impact in Portland of $1 billion.
The proposed bond work included:
- Full “Rebuilds” at Roosevelt , Jefferson and Cleveland High Schools; Rigler, Faubion, Laurelhurst, and Marysville K-8 schools, Markham Elementary, and merging the East Sylvan and West Sylvan campuses; full redesign plans for Lincoln High School (construction in future bond)
- Boiler conversions from oil to natural gas
- Roof replacements and seismic improvements
- Science lab upgrades
- Safety upgrades: wiring, plumbing, and lighting replacements; keycard and exterior security; stage rigging reinforcements
- School ground improvements and new covered play areas
The bond proposal also included debt retirement at Rosa Parks School, and funds to pay for a Citizen’s Oversight committee and annual program audits. More detail on the bond proposal can be found in the Proposed Capital Program Budget.
More information on the proposed bond can be found in the FAQ.
May 2011 Election
After a public comment period that further shaped the bond proposal, the School Board referred the capital bond to Portland voters (Measure 26-121). PPS then referred Measure 26-122, a five-year local option levy that would raise an estimated $57 million a year to preserve teaching jobs. For more on bonds and levies: School Funding & Finance.
In the May 17, 2011 Special Election, voters passed the teacher's levy (26-122) and defeated the capital bond (26-121) by 578 votes.
Following the defeat of the capital bond in May 2011, Superintendent Carole Smith and members of the School Board began holding “listening sessions” with individuals and groups who had supported or opposed the bond. These conversations were compiled into a Listening Report and have informed the steps taken in past months to move forward, including the process to develop a Long Range Facility Plan.
Long Range Facility Plan
One consistent theme heard in the listening sessions was the public’s need for a long range plan to put the proposed capital bond into a longer term perspective. The district kicked off the process to develop the Long Range Facility Plan (LRFP) in December 2011.