Portland Public Schools staff recommends drawing from bond reserves to expand high school projects

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Voters last November approved a $482 million bond that would rebuild three high schools -- Roosevelt, Franklin and Grant -- and Faubion K-8.

The district's chief operating officer, C.J. Sylvester, and executive director of the Office of School Modernization, Jim Owens, on Monday told the school board the initial plans may not accommodate expected population increases.

The two suggested the district build Franklin and Grant larger by cutting the capital bond reserves in half to $10 million, while leaving the contingency funds for each individual project untouched. Roosevelt's original plan for capacity would remain the same.

In addition to pulling from the reserve, the district also planned to lower the proposed cost for square foot from $220 to $200. The district is also counting on escalation costs to be calculated at about $21.2 million for the three high schools.

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