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The good, and the bad, of matriculating from the historic site to a brand new high school building.

CARDINAL TIMES PHOTO: JILL ROSS - Pictured are, from left, administrators Peyton Chapman, Christopher Brida and Jill Ross  in the new building. 
Principal Peyton Chapman has been at Lincoln for 16 years. When she first started working at Lincoln, there were no arts or music programs. Through the years, Lincoln has evolved as a school, yielding many positive memories for Chapman.

"I have so many favorite memories in this building," she said, citing as an example the all-school assemblies that are "bigger than any individual"

She also mentioned performing arts, Arabic Culture Night and Lunar New Year. "I really loved this year in particular. So I don't think I can pick one favorite memory," Chapman said.

And even some of the problems with serving in an older school have their appeal, she said. "…this old, gritty, lived-in … space is going to be hard to replicate right off the bat," she said. "We're gonna have to figure out how to do it."

As someone who came to Lincoln from a smaller school on the East Coast and also attended a generally smaller school as a high school student, Vice Principal Christopher Brida loves the events that have happened in the gym where the entire school comes together and rallies around each other.

"I think there's something really special about the last boys basketball game. It's like the final thing that ever happened in the gym," Brida said.

Similarly one of Brida's favorite parts of the current building is the feeling of closeness that is created by having such an overcapacity of students in this building.

"I think there's something sort of sweet, just about being a student body of 1,500 students in a space built for, like, 900…there's that sort of, like community that, like, if you take the same group of people and give them 100,000 more square feet, it's going to feel a little bit more spread out," Brida said.

Brida's largest role in the process of designing the new building was Career Technical Education spaces since he oversees the CTE programs at Lincoln. Due to the hands-on spaces that many CTE classrooms provide, they often have many specific needs. With the new building the CTE program will see a whole new spectrum of possibilities.

"The spaces that I'm most excited about are the ones where students are going to have the opportunity to do more hands-on things that we just don't currently have the physical space to do in this building," he said.

Brida recognizes the potential for being in the new building, citing the many opportunities that current students will have as the first classes in the new space.

"I think it's going to be a learning process in the first year, and I think what's cool about that are the first four classes that get to move into that building freshmen through seniors, you all really get to set the tone for what could potentially be the next 70 years of that building"

Kim Bliss, International Baccalaureate coordinator, grew up in Portland, attending Chapman Elementary School, a school that many Lincoln students attended. Due to his experiences as a young kid in Portland, Bliss finds it easier to find an instant connection with students at Lincoln.

"I have (an understanding of the) cultural landscape, and can connect with kids about their experience.… I just feel like it's more profound here. And I also just really care about Portland."

Even though his office is located in a windowless room that formerly housed a copy machine, Bliss feels a sense of attachment to the current building. He taught his first class in Room 105 and has had many positive experiences in the building.

"And that is one of the things I love about this old, stupid dumb building, is how lived in it feels, you can tell that there have been generations of kids here," Bliss said.

Jill Ross has been the business manager for five years and was the book-keeper for four years before that. During her first year at Lincoln her kids were attending Lincoln at the same time. She looks back fondly on carpooling to school together, getting complaints about hearing her laughter in the library, and being together in the building. Some of her favorite memories?

"Probably times that I was in the building when my kids were here, because both my kids graduated from Lincoln as well. So that's where I get sad, because I remember coming in here when my youngest was a freshman and my oldest was a senior," Ross said.

Ross has been a vital part of the transition to the new building, and she worked specifically with the custodial staff. She wants to emphasize the importance of respecting our new space to the Lincoln community.

"Respect this building and take care of it, because the taxpayers paid a lot of money to pay for it," she said. "There are a lot of things that we do in this building because we don't really care. … There will be new behaviors that we have to learn, everybody will have to learn it because everybody is used to acting one way."


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