PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s back to school day for about 50,000 students in Portland Public Schools, and with it comes some firsts. There is a new superintendent, and some newly remade schools.
Franklin High School is open to students after shutting down for two years of construction. The school has been reconstructed, added to and modernized, while holding onto some of its historic features that date back to 1917.
The school has added many features, including a media center, career center, performing arts wing with expansive theatre, a culinary arts program, and the list goes on.
Seniors this first day of school returned after two years away at Marshall High School. They return as seniors to their school. And many seemed thrilled to be back.
“It means a lot, it means we’ve come a long way. So ya that’s really exciting, actually. Big time,” said Franklin senior Marceline Kilassa.
Franklin has a student population of 1720 this year, and the campus was electric as they arrived before the first bell.
The Franklin reconstruction was paid for in part by the $482 million dollar bond voters approved in 2012.
Roosevelt High School and Faubion PreK-8 School were also redone as part of the bond effort.
New PPS Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero doesn’t officially start until October 1st, but made the trip up from San Francisco for the first day of school. His message to students today: “First day of school it’s a day for students to reflect on what dreams do they have for themselves, and really our challenge and obligation is to make sure they make those dreams come true.”