Construction is progressing on Barlow High School's new sports stadium — one of the many improvements in the remodeling and expansion project for the 50-year-old building.
The school at 5105 S.E. 302nd Ave. is getting additional classrooms, and existing ones will be renovated and updated to accommodate current technology. About 45% of the school is being rebuilt.
The school's main entrance is being switched from 302nd Avenue to Lusted Road. The new entrance will be a glassed-in, airy, two-story area accented with warm wood and outfitted with the latest security features.
The building program is being funded by a $291.2 million bond Gresham-Barlow district voters approved in November 2016. Gresham High School is being substantially rebuilt and North and East Gresham elementary schools are being replaced.
At Barlow, the student commons areas will be expanded and remodeled, also with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light. The commons will feature a wide "stadium-seating" stairway to a second floor, which creates a place for students to gather.
The arts and theater spaces are also being expanded and upgraded.
The new auditorium is shaping up. Sweeping acoustic panels constructed in Florida have been attached to the ceiling, and on Wednesday, May 8, specialized construction workers were installing the rigging above the stage for theatrical productions.
The long-awaited sports stadium, designed to seat 1,500 home fans and 500 visitors, is well underway. Covered bleachers and an announcer's box are installed, and construction supervisors with general contractor Lease Crutcher Lewis said the rubbery track surface is scheduled to be "blown" in over the eight-lane track this week.
The Bruins have new, bright yellow goalposts and the shotput area will be installed in the far northwest corner of the athletic field.
A ticket booth, concessions stand and other sports field amenities will be installed over the coming weeks.
The auditorium, some classrooms and the athletic facilities are on track to be ready for students this fall. One day last week there were 23 subcontractors and about 110 craft workers laboring at Barlow.
Students are attending school during construction, which won't be completed until winter 2020. Ten portable classrooms have been added outside, and two more classrooms carved out of the library to accommodate classes. Parking is limited during construction.
All district schools got safety and security upgrades. Some elementary schools are being expanded and some also got new playgrounds.
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