The Benson Polytechnic High School building is full of architectural interest but has been untouched in some areas since the 1950s. The school is over 104 years old. There’s so much interest in the architecture and nostalgia and some of that is about to undergo some much-needed change.
The high school has just closed its doors for the next three years as it undergoes an estimated $216.6 million renovation and modernization project. Many are celebrating the school’s next chapter and are excited. The groundbreaking ceremony for the school happened on Saturday, August 7. This PPS school is one of three high schools in the Portland area being modernized and renovated with money using 2017 and 2020 voter approved bonds. Benton High School will reopen with new career and technical education learning spaces and shops and a new student commons area and health and safety upgrades such as a seismic retrofit.
When Benson Polytechnic High School first began in the 40s it was an all-boys campus. In the late 40s and 50s it had a reputation as a dumping ground for juvenile delinquents. Many male students were brought to the school to turn their lives around and this history leaves a legacy in the school’s story today. There are several boys who were headed down a dangerous and concerning path until they came to the school and are now upstanding citizens in society contributing and making the world around them better.
This modernization project will give work to the 92-year-old auditorium, the 96-year-old gymnasium, the 104 year old main building restored to historical standards and much more. The gym will be renovated and the school’s main façades are planned for reconstruction. A lot of construction traffic is anticipated in the area, but there will be no planned street closures as of now.
The process is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2024. Current Benson High School students will be shuffled to Marshall High School campus during the construction. Many people are excited to see this aging building receive some attention while still hoping that it retains its historical charm and legacy of excellence. This CTE magnet school is not a traditional public neighborhood school, Benson Polytechnic High School accepts students from all over Portland on a lottery basis. Benson Polytechnic offers its students alternate education in college prep and vocational skills and it has helped several students get prepared to make the transition into college more smoothly or go straight into the career world with success.
While the school will be missed over the next three years it is very exciting to see that the building will bring even more opportunities to the youngest residence of Portland. Benson Polytechnic has a long history of providing a solid education for students that have gone into career and lifelong success.
There are so many great educational opportunities in the city of Portland for young students making it a great place to live for families. For more information on Portland real estate and real estate in areas surrounding Portland please contact us anytime.