PORTLAND -- Big plans are in store for the shuttered Washington High School building at Southeast 14th Avenue and Southeast Stark Street in Portland, according to the building's new owners.
Venerable Properties LLC confirmed it is purchasing the Portland Public School property for $2 million. A closing date was set for October 24.
“We are going to restore Washington High school to its full glory,” said Venerable Properties President, Craig Kelly.
Pictured: Renovation plans for Washington High School's roof terrace
Plans for the 116,000-square-foot building include 55,000 square feet available for commercial leasing on the upper floors and 18,000 square feet on the ground floor.
“Portland is booming with apparel designers and this will be the perfect fit for that,” said Kelly. He said they didn’t have any leasers lined up yet.
“We believe in the saying, ‘If we build it, they will come,’” Kelly said.
Plans also included full restoration of the school’s grand auditorium, which will be used as an event space. And a rooftop deck will be installed, with a view of downtown Portland.
“I’ve joked that one of my daughters will have a wedding reception there,” said Kelly.
The building that became Washington High School was built in 1906. After fire destroyed it in 1922, the school was rebuilt and reopened in 1924.
The school closed for good in 1981 and was used as an administrative building until 2003. It remained vacant until 2005, when it was used to care for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.
“We’re so excited about this sale,” said Portland Public School District spokesperson, Christine Miles.
She said the $2 million dollars from the sale would go into the district’s Capitol Assets Renewal Policy.
“It will help pay for improvements and repairs to other buildings in our district that we use,” said Miles.
Construction will begin on October 28, and Bremik will be completing the renovation.