Rebuilt Kellogg Middle School opens its doors
After its former building was razed to the ground, Portland Public Schools (PPS) constructed an entirely new campus for Kellogg Middle School along S.E. Powell Boulevard.
In due course the community was invited to celebrate the opening of the $45 million new school, sited on its six acre lot, on Saturday morning, August 28.
"I'm here because it's important that yet another modern, healthy, and safe building is opening up for Portland Public Schools. This represents a dedicated facility for many middle grade students here in Southeast Portland," announced PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero that day.
"I'm excited for educators and our students to have access to modern facilities, science labs, technology, and wonderful places to eat, and gather, and learn in this state-of-the-art learning environment," Guerrero told THE BEE.
"When one attends a 'comprehensive' middle school, one can really focus on exploring a range of courses. It also means having youth development, and a time to develop what pathway they might want to pursue when they get to high school," Guerrero declared.
As dignitaries arrived for the opening celebration, the Franklin High School Band, under the direction of Jason Owens, performed as if they'd been playing together for months.
"This day is important to me, personally, because our students finally get to attend a modern school," said Principal Richard Smith. "Our students will get to experience opportunities that they would not otherwise have, to help them move forward into their futures."
Taking a self-guided tour, THE BEE explored the performing arts area, with a large stage that opens into a capatious gymnasium; and, a "STEAM" learning center.
On the main floor, the Cafeteria and Commons area serves as the heart of the new school, offering space for student gatherings and after-school activities. However, we understood that students would be required to eat and gather outside, for the time being, because of COVID-19 considerations.
"Learning suites" â€“ designed to promote greater collaboration among groups of classrooms â€“ are connected together on each floor, provided what the designers called "extended learning areas".
Kellogg grads approve
In the third floor "Learning Suite" lobby area, we came across Tomiye Shioshi â€“ and two of her five adult daughters, Judy and Carol â€“ admiring the rebuilt school. "All five of us girls went to Kellogg, from the 1950s through early 1970s, when back then it was a kindergarten through eighth grade school â€“ before we went on to Marshall High," Judy informed.
"Because we ran a grocery store nearby on Powell, our family was one of the 'prime donors' to school activities," Judy recollected.
Tomiye smiled as she looked around. "Although we do miss the old school, this is fabulous; it's amazing how the rooms and areas are set up. I think it's worked out very nicely."
As we ended our tour of the new school building on Powell Boulevard, we learned that between 680 and 746 middle school students will be attending school there â€“ and in fact are doing so, now that the school year is well underway.Take a brief video tour of Portland's newest middle school â€“ on the day of its grand opening! Click here to see it â€“ youtu.be/j00Q9Fq1QGo
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