From 2017 to 2021, Oh planning+design, architecture embarked on a renovation project for Kellogg Middle School that sought to physically embody the future of teaching and learning in Portland schools. This project addresses and serves PPS’s vision that places students at the center, promotes honesty and integrity, breeds creativity and innovation, and fosters respect for all students.
Spearheaded by team lead Deb France, the development process was intensely collaborative, including input from a wide host of stakeholders and community members in order to fortify PPS’ vision of centering student voices. The results: clear guiding principles for design development of the new middle school, and a commitment to following these values throughout the design process.
The renovation provides learning environments accessible to all students, teachers, and visitors to embrace diversity in its population and learning environments. Some of these guiding principles include flexible and adaptable spaces, space for community use, neighborhood partnerships, and adaptability for future growth. The identity of the school serves the community by promoting inclusivity, equality, sustainability, and representation with a mind toward the future.
The community’s desire to feel involved and have a relationship with the new school is met by the site’s permanent community room. This room serves as a platform and focal point for community gathering, discussion, & engagement. It also symbolizes an entryway for adults to further their educational goals by participating in after-hours learning opportunities in the rooms adjacent to the community room.
Community-led design is critical to all public school projects, but Kellogg Middle School’s design process additionally demonstrated that PPS’ ambitious sustainability and accessibility goals are realistic and achievable for new construction on a low-bid budget. Kellogg Middle School establishes a new benchmark for the guidelines of the District’s Sustainability Standards and promises a bright future for school design (and redesign) in Portland.