Increased security at entrances: Every school building in Portland Public Schools will have a key-card access management system at exterior building entrances. This will increase the security of each building and limit access points for non-staff visitors to schools. The new system will also allow PPS to immediately deactivate staff key cards when they are misplaced or lost; currently, entire buildings must be re-keyed, which takes time and adds considerable expense.
Fire and life safety
Environmental design for security: The nine schools to be rebuilt will receive up-to-date security systems including cameras that can record everyone who enters the building. School design and layout will also consider window placements and sight lines, and a welcoming and supervised main entry into the building. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles will be used where feasible to inform the layout and improvements to the rebuilt schools. In addition, the six high schools not rebuilt in this bond will undergo master planning and improvements to their grounds – including lighting, landscaping, walkways and other measures that will help to increase safety.
Fire alarm and fire suppression: Nine schools will have fully updated fire alarm systems. In addition, the nine schools to be rebuilt will have complete and up-to-date alarm and fire suppression systems, including sprinklers, under current building standards.
Improved safety in stage areas: PPS will inspect and when necessary replace stage rigging and curtains in 60 schools. School stages – whether in auditoriums, cafeterias or other multi-purpose rooms – have stage rigging systems of lights, rope and pulley systems with counterweights, curtains and more that are decades old.
Transportation safety: Transportation access will be evaluated at the nine schools to be rebuilt with the goal of increasing safety for students, staff and families. Design of access routes for pedestrians, bicycles, school buses, automobiles and delivery trucks will be considered during the master planning process.
Seismic upgrades: Improving school buildings’ earthquake safety continues to be a priority for PPS. A 1995 bond measure included $47 million in seismic safety improvements at 53 schools. The school facilities bond will pay for rebuilding nine schools to modern seismic standards and for seismic bracing for the Beverly Cleary K-8 School’s main campus, the Fernwood building. In addition to Fernwood and the rebuilt schools, four schools will receive roof replacements that will include seismic reinforcing. In 2009, nine roofs were replaced and seismically reinforced.
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