School News: Beaverton High Rebuld

By Gabby Urenda, BSD Bond Communications Specialist

The renderings were provided by the design team after getting feedback from students, staff and parents about the rebuild project.

The Beaverton School District (BSD) is updating the community with new renderings of what Beaverton High School (BHS) could look like one day.

The $723-million bond approved by voters in May 2022 will be used on several projects throughout the district, including the rebuild of the school. It will be the largest project in the bond at a cost of $253 million.

The original part of the school dates back to 1916. The school was the only high school in the Facilities Condition Assessment report evaluated to be in critical condition and represents the lowest seismic rating of any existing BSD building.

Beaverton High School is a school that has a lot of tradition,” said BHS Principal Andrew Kearl. “It has been around for a very long time. So, I think there’s a lot of vested interest in making sure… that it resembles the students that it serves.”

Inside, the school’s halls are more narrow than average, and the ceiling heights are lower than at most of the district’s high schools. By rebuilding BHS, it would eliminate about $53-million of deferred maintenance.

The student commons area will feature an open layout. Finishes, colors and other details are subject to change as the process continues.

The new building will be three stories tall and 300,000 square feet. It will include a multicultural space, courtyard, and other new amenities.

Kearl added that the school has been working with various student and parent groups throughout the design process. Staff also have been involved in the planning.

“There’s an African adage that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,’” said James Donnelly, a parent in the district. “They (district staff) took the time to address everyone’s concerns.”

As for the renderings, the design team based the exterior of the building on the concept of jewelry, based on feedback from the community, with the protruding spaces acting as jewels.

The library will have natural light incorporated for students and staff but final colors, furniture or other details are subject to change.

“The spaces that you see based on the exterior with the orange frames—those are the flexible spaces,” said Jessica Molinar with BRIC Architecture. “People really wanted the building to be funky. They wanted it to have personality.”

Because there is no viable temporary school, students will attend school on site during construction. The new building will be built on the empty grass field along SW Farmington Road. The cafeteria, which was constructed in 2003, will remain and be connected to the new structure. Once the new school is completed, the old one will be torn down and replaced with a parking lot and other programming.

The Merle Davies building, which sits next to the cafeteria, was constructed more than 80 years ago and will also be removed as part of the rebuild process. Due to reduced historic integrity of the structure, both the City of Beaverton and the State Historic Preservation Office found it does not meet historical landmark criteria. In addition, the cost of bringing the Merle Davies building up to code for critical safety elements – such as seismic, asbestos and lead – would be excessive.

Construction will start in July 2024, and the school will open in August 2026. Final construction will be complete in 2027.

As for other 2022 Bond projects, Sunset High School will receive a new track, technology and networking upgrades, among other improvements. Cedar Park Middle School can look forward to stage improvements, structural reinforcements and a roof replacement.

Every school throughout BSD also will receive new technology and standardized furniture through the bond, as well as other site-specific upgrades.

[Ed. note: After a lengthy process, BSD redrew attendance boundaries for all schools, starting with High Schools. Many Cedar Mill area students now attend BHS.