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Portland Voters Approve Bond to Renovate Four Schools

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Portland Voters Approve Bond to Renovate Four Schools
Posted on 11/07/2017
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Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana and Portland Board of Public Education Chair Anna Trevorrow issued a joint statement regarding Portland voters’ approval today of Question 3 on the municipal ballot – a $64.3 million bond to renovate Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot and Reiche elementary schools. The statement is as follows:

“The Portland Public Schools and the Portland Board of Public Education are deeply grateful to Portland voters for approving the renovation of all four of the city’s aging elementary schools. Not only are renovations at Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot and Reiche critically needed because of accessibility and safety issues, but – most importantly – they’re also necessary to transform these schools into 21st century learning environments for our students – helping us to fulfill our Portland Public Schools Promise.

We have promised the Portland community to prepare and empower our students for their future by working to realize the four goals established in our Comprehensive Plan – Achievement, Whole Student, Equity, and People. As part of the Portland Promise, we’ve also begun a community campaign to highlight the unique educational experience that Portland’s public schools offer and illustrate why our district is a great choice for families. We are confident that our newly updated school buildings will help convince even more families that Portland is right for them.

It takes a community to ensure that we meet our commitment of preparing our students to succeed in college and career. Portland voters have always been generous and supportive of our schools, and they have once again shown their commitment to quality education for all our students.”

Now that the bond package has been approved, Botana outlined the process for proceeding with the work to renovate the four schools. “The next step is to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for architectural work and to engage with the school board, staff, families and the community concerning the order in which the projects will proceed,” Botana said. “That process will include the sequencing of the projects and the specific timeline for initiating and completing each renovation. We look forward to the day when all four elementary schools are finally up to 21st century learning standards.”

According to unofficial results from the Portland City Clerk’s office, the vote for Question 3 was 64.86 percent in favor or 13,742 votes, and 35.14 percent opposed, or 7,445 votes. The vote for Question 4 – a $31.6 million bond to renovate Lyseth and Presumpscot elementary schools and wait to see if the state will fund renovations at Longfellow and Reiche elementary schools – was 10,541 votes or 51.55 percent in favor of that proposal and 9,907 votes or 48.45 percent against that proposal.