Bye bye, Gresham High
Gresham High School's historic, Art Deco-style auditorium was being demolished this week to make way for a sleek, modern theater that will sit at the corner of Division Street and Main Avenue.
About 70 percent of the high school is being replaced with new construction and is scheduled to be finished in early 2020. Students will attend school in the old building as the new one rises around them.
Several outbuildings, the child care center, auto shop and other parts of the school were taken down in June, beginning as soon as the students left for summer vacation.
On Monday, July 2, workers also were reinforcing the iconic bas-relief sculptures that graced the entrance to the school's theater. They will be removed, preserved and worked into the design of the "new" Gresham High School.
The Art Deco-style Gresham High School was built by workers of the Works Progress Administration beginning July 11, 1939, according to old Gresham High yearbooks. The gym was finished by June 1940 and the auditorium followed in August. The stone was laid at the main entrance on Dec. 9, 1940. The school's enrollment was 880 students at that time, the yearbook said.
The construction is being paid for by a $291.2 million bond Gresham-Barlow School District voters passed in November 2016. The bond is paying for substantial remodels of Gresham and Barlow high schools and replacement of East and North Gresham elementary schools. Hollydale Elementary will get some added classrooms, and all schools are getting safety and security upgrades.