11/24/2014

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District planning lead treatment for 10 Portland schools

District planning lead treatment for 10 Portland schools

PORTLAND, Ore. - Ten elementary schools are in line for lead paint treatment, according to Portland Public Schools.

The district's operations manager said Portland's water bureau provided a $50,000 grant for lead paint abatement, and these schools were selected:

  • Abernethy
  • Ainsworth
  • Arleta
  • Atkinson
  • Laurelhurst
  • Rigler
  • Rose City Park
  • Sabin
  • Sacajawea
  • Scott

The district did not explain why the schools were selected.

The district provided KATU with a paper copy of a "state of the paint" report, an assessment of paint at elementary schools in Portland. We have posted it here so you can see the status of paint at your child's school.

A district spokesman, Larry Bingham, released a statement saying it is likely that every school in the district has lead paint since they were built and painted before 1974, when lead paint was commonly used.

"We're looking at what it's going to take to paint all of our buildings," said operations manager Tony Magliano.

However, he said the cost is in the millions, which is money the district does not have.

"Unfortunately, there's a large problem in overall condition of the buildings and deferred maintenance backlog," said Magliano.

Here is the Portland Public School District's statement about lead paint:

Over half of Portland public buildings were built and painted before World War II. PPS, like many public agencies and private homeowners, stopped using lead-based paint in 1974. Today at PPS, when we investigate failing paint, we assume that our buildings have some level of lead in their paint, just like many of the older homes in Portland that surround our schools.

We address lead-based paint in accordance with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority. PPS prioritizes stabilizing flaking paint in spaces occupied by children 6 and under and areas adjacent to playgrounds. Annual assessments of all of our schools determine these stabilization projects, which are funded through a $50,000 grant provided for this purpose by the Portland Water Bureau. We do additional stabilization work from our general fund budget as resources allow.

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