Safety and security work already underway, construction will begin at end of school year

OUTLOOK PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - About 70 percent of Gresham High School will be rebuilt in a remodel that will start in June 2018. The Gresham-Barlow School District is sprinting ahead with its planned school-building boom and has scheduled groundbreaking ceremonies for four schools, starting in just two weeks.

A $291.2 million bond passed by voters in November 2016 will fund substantial remodels of Gresham and Barlow high schools and replacements of East and North Gresham elementary schools. Hollydale Elementary will get some added classrooms, and all schools are getting safety and security upgrades.

"All 18 of our schools will be touched" by the bond building program, said Katrise Perera, Gresham-Barlow superintendent on Thursday, March 8.

Construction on the big projects will begin as soon as students leave the building for summer break.

Some of the security upgrades have already been made.

- The first groundbreaking will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, for East Gresham Elementary School, 900 S.E. Fifth St.

- Gresham High School comes next at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 4, 1200 N. Main Ave. About 70 percent of Gresham High will be rebuilt.

- At 2 p.m. Wednesday April 25, North Gresham, 1001 S.E. 217th Ave. will symbolically begin construction.

- Barlow High School, 5105 S.E. 302d Ave. will break ground for its construction at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, June 6. Barlow classrooms will be heavily affected by the construction. Perera said "we'll have lots of learning cottages, I refuse to call them trailers, on campus in the fall."

Barlow is also getting a long-desired 6A stadium. "As an ex-athlete, I know how important facilities are," she said, smiling.

Some elementary schools will get new playgrounds or play surfaces.

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