By David Mayne
The ongoing Portland Public Schools School Bond construction work at Franklin High School consists of the seen and the unseen. The exterior on SE Woodward, shows the work on a new Performing Arts Building.
Over the last few weeks, this work has included excavating and re-grading, plus the placement of footings and structural shear walls. Soon the walls and floor slabs will be formed and the concrete will be poured. The area for the future student center in front of the East Wing is taking shape as well, with the footings placed and concrete being poured.
Pass the school on Division St. and you’ll notice that most of the exterior walls of the new Gym/Bio-Med building are now up. Large cranes to aid in the erecting of the steel structure are onsite and that work begins soon. The retaining walls around the new track and field are now completed.
What you can’t see as you pass the campus is the extensive work on the interior. Selective demolition and abatement of portions of the East wing, Main building and West wing continues. There are still areas of the main building interior where workers are carefully removing materials containing asbestos from the walls, floors and ceilings.
The boy’s and girl’s restroom at the main entry of the building has totally been gutted and will soon be cleared to become the main entry from the Woodward street side.
Most of the interior classroom walls have been removed with some of the skeletal wood framing intact, showing off the hidden craftsmanship of the builders from 100 years ago.
In the lower levels of the older building, portions of the concrete floors have been removed for seismic upgrade installations to the existing building. The seismic work includes reinforced concrete shear walls soon to be formed and poured. Franklin High was awarded a $1.3 million dollar grant for seismic rehabilitation.
For the latest project information, the PPS Franklin Bond website is at: FranklinBond.pps.net. Watch a new video tracing the work from groundbreaking in May up to the end of 2015.