What a gorgeous day to celebrate the reopening of Kellogg Middle School! As Portland Public Schools prepares to welcome back students for in-person instruction, children, parents, neighbors, PPS administrators, and school board members (and a few STNA board members) gathered in the school’s courtyard to make and hear remarks and to get a first look at the new school and grounds.
The Franklin High School band rang in the event followed by a few short speeches, including one from Tina Kimmey, chair of STNA and SE Uplift. Tina’s connection to the Kellogg redevelopment project goes back years, as she served on the project’s Design Advisory Group (DAG).
Here are Tina’s comments, along with several photos of the new school. Enjoy!
I want to welcome everyone today to the South Tabor neighborhood, here where Kellogg Middle School is located.
I am the chair of the neighborhood association and chair of SE Uplift, the district coalition supporting inner Southeast Portland. I am thrilled to have this new school community within our borders.
Here in 1917, Kellogg, then named The Hoffman School, was first opened. There were generations of students that attended school in the building that stood on this site for 100 years, and there will be many more in the coming century to attend this school that we are here today to celebrate.
The Design Advisory Group first met in October of 2017 (that’s almost four years ago), with the architecture team from Oh Planning and Design. We met over a nine-month period at the newly opened Franklin High School and once at Faubion Elementary in NE Portland. Our design conversations ranged anywhere from school locker location to bike rack location, and a wishlist including solar panels (this is how Portlanders dream).
The design team would bring us their ideas for the school, and we gave our opinions. We were not shy sharing our thoughts. Obviously, not all the ideas were winners, but today I am excited to finally step foot into this new building that we envisioned WAY back in 2018. I had never been involved in anything like the Design Advisory Group, and I looked forward to each meeting learning about all that was going into the brand new school. Around the same time the DAG completed our process, the demolition of the old school building began.
It was a year after that (two years ago now) when we celebrated the groundbreaking in the back field that I learned that my friend from Todd Construction was going to be the project manager for the building. Then slowly over the last two years we have watched the building take shape and the campus grow into a place we in Southeast Portland will be able to enjoy for generations to come.
I am envious of the future students who will attend and excel within these walls. Heck, I’m even jealous of the ones who will have detention and sit in the principal’s office.
The South Tabor Neighborhood Association is pleased to have this school rebuilt. It enriches our neighborhood and all of Southeast Portland. We recognize it will serve as an invaluable community resource. The fields, the walking paths, and the building all add to our resiliency and will bring students from Southeast Portland together in a state-of-the-art building. While we wish more students from South Tabor would be able to attend this school, we trust that over time the boundaries will shift and that this school — that is in some cases literally in their backyard — will have the opportunity to serve them directly.
We start creating memories today with the surrounding community and this school year with the first classes of students to attend this beautiful new school.
Congratulations to Portland Public Schools and the redevelopment team!