Portland voters weighing $790M PPS bond

Bond issue on the May 16 ballot

A sign promoting the proposed PPS bond, May 9, 2017 (KOIN)
A sign promoting the proposed PPS bond, May 9, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Voters in Portland will make a final decision on May 16 whether to approve a $790 million bond for the Portland Public Schools.

If it passes next week, the bond would fund renovations and additions at Benson and Madison High Schools. Money from the bond would also help fully rebuild Lincoln High School and Kellogg Middle School, according to the school district.

The average PPS school is about 76 years old. The district also plans to use funds from the bond for upgrades at Cleveland, Jefferson and Wilson High Schools. Another $150 million from the bond would be used for district-wide health and safety projects, PPS said in a press release.

Some of those projects include:

> Replacing old pipes and fixtures to reduce lead, improve water quality, and reduce the need to use bottled water;
> Removing or encapsulating exposed lead paint and asbestos;
> Upgrading fire alarm and/or sprinkler systems;
> Repairing or replacing leaking or deteriorating school roofs;
> Improving accessibility for people with disabilities;
> Improving building foundations and ventilation to decrease radon exposure;
> Strengthening school safety and security.

KOIN 6 News previously reported that 20 PPS buildings need retrofitting in order to withstand a major earthquake in the region, a project estimated at about $1 billion to do it all at once.