Grant High School in northeast Portland is the third Portland Public Schools high school to be modernized with recent bond funds. Upon completion, it will accommodate over two thousand students and will join recently updated Roosevelt and Franklin High Schools as a state-of-the-art learning environment.After over two years of design, demolition is well under way at the Grant campus. The removal of select, outdated building additions has begun to allow visual and physical connections between the campus and adjacent Grant Park. New vistas of handsome historic facades and mature trees are revealed after decades of obstruction. The site framework we’ve envisioned is beginning to materialize.We look forward to seeing new outdoor spaces for the school and community take shape out of the current landscape of mud and rubble.
In its 97th year, the Tech Show at Benson Polytechnic High School showcased student work in the Portland magnet school’s majors of arts, communications, health occupations, industry and engineering. As I perused the exhibits and presentations at the late February event, I was awed by the sophistication and breadth of hands-on learning opportunities. This is the high school experience I wish I’d had! Students showed me metalsmithing, skate board engineering, a scale model of the whole school, robots, lasers, light bulb puzzles, full sized kit cars, hand crafted wood furniture, radio programming, chicken breast suturing and wound packing, photography and graphic design.As part of the architectural team which is currently master planning the school’s modernization, I attended the show to better understand Benson’s programs. I left that evening with an incredible optimism for the next generation of innovators. I feel privileged to be designing the exterior collaborative learning environments that will support the technical and artistic endeavors of Benson’s future students.
In celebration of the Orange Line opening, our latest studio artwall installation is on display at Mayer/Reed. In its eighth year, the artwall is a rotating, collaborative display of staff submissions focused on a theme.