Homecoming events to celebrate completion of $91.5 million in construction projects

Alumni, former teachers and all interested North Clackamas citizens are invited to next week's public grand reopening of the newly reconstructed Milwaukie High School.COURTESY PHOTO: NCSD - Milwaukie High School's new three-story, 128,000-square-foot building boasts energy-efficient and seismic improvements.

One of the largest and most complex of the bond projects approved by voters in 2016, MHS's 1925 main building was demolished and replaced. The new three-story, 128,000-square-foot building is larger and boasts energy-efficient and seismic improvements that allow for better connection to the campus' other building.

MHS's other building, housing the administration and cafeteria, was remodeled, along with upgrading the school's emergency generator, heating/cooling system, roofing and paint. Athletic facilities received new baseball and softball fields, a resurfaced track, replacement of artificial turf and additional parking.

North Clackamas voters approved a 25-year $433 million bond estimated to continue the current taxpayer rate of $2.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value. MHS's project was originally estimated to cost $77.3 million, but the revised budget of $91.5 million accounted for escalating construction costs over the past few years. The district was able to backfill MHS's financial overruns using cost savings in other proposed projects throughout the district, along with taking advantage of selling the bonds at lower interest rates than expected.COURTESY PHOTO: NCSD - Milwaukie High School students now benefit from a new heating/cooling system, larger classrooms and spacious common areas.

One glorious old-growth tree was saved, but another one of the two cedar trees gracing MHS's front lawn was removed to accommodate the entrance of the new building and its connection to the commons. The tree's wood was used to build benches and mustang ornaments to honor MHS's mascot.

Inlays on the seat steps are made from wood salvaged from MHS's 1925 building as was a wall accent located in the administrative offices on the ground-floor of the lobby. Wood trim from the south entrance of the original building is incorporated into the south entry of the new structure.COURTESY PHOTO: NCSD - In 1960, Milwaukie High School Principal Jerome C. Lillie received a thank-you note from U.S. Sen. John F. Kennedy, who visited MHS while campaigning for president.

Public events on Oct. 8 in honor of MHS

Ribbon-cutting ceremony with student performances: 5 p.m. in MHS's JC Lillie Plaza, 2301 S.E. Willard St.

New building tours: 6 p.m.

MHS varsity football team expected to beat Seaside: 7 p.m.

Alumni gatherings following game: Milwaukie Beer Store (1970s graduates at 10610 S.E. Main St.) - Chan's Steakery ('80s/'90s at 10477 S.E. Main) and Pietro's Pizza ('00s/'10s at 10300 S.E. Main).

Past staff, teachers and administrators gathering: Decibel Sound & Drink, 11380 S.E. 21st Ave., at 3-4:45 p.m.

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