Photo gallery: Portland’s shuttered schools, a decade after “Hurricane Vicki”

It’s been nearly a decade since “Hurricane Vicki” touched down in Portland. But the aftereffects of her stormy, three-year tenure still litter Portland’s landscape.

Between 2004 and 2007, former Superintendent Vicki Phillips closed and merged dozens of schools, transforming the Portland Public Schools district in every quadrant of the city.

Enrollment had been dropping for decades. But the rushed closures angered students, parents and teachers. The plan divided the School Board. Today, many of the schools that Phillips closed still sit vacant.

Photojournalist Sean Sperry recently spent an afternoon photographing a few of Portland’s closed schools for PDX Schools Watch. Click on the first photo to view the images as a slideshow.

5 thoughts on “Photo gallery: Portland’s shuttered schools, a decade after “Hurricane Vicki”

  1. Jeff Katz (@katzpdx)

    I am convinced that the actions of Vickie are why the board gives Carole the softball treatment when it comes to performance reviews despite missing many benchmarks. They are still afraid to rock the boat.

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Thanks for this piece, Beth. I would like to mention Rose City Park, a beautiful building that once housed a vibrant program also fell victim to Hurricane Vicki and the Mincberg reign. Overcrowding because of that school’s closure is at a tipping point. The building now houses ACCESS which draws from across the city but neighborhood kids have to travel long distances to their new “neighborhood” schools. I would also like to mention the poor condition of Harrison Park which seems to get no attention from the district. I attempted to contact the district several times and received no response. For months, the girls bathroom next to the gym had a handicap stall without a working latch. In addition, the filth and disrepair was unconscionable. Yet the district can afford $15,000 month for a consultant but can’t take a trip to Home Depot for a $25 fix. Screwed up priorities, PPS!

    Reply
  3. Zarwen

    Hi Beth, I wrote a comprehensive piece on this topic a couple of years ago. It was originally posted on Carrie Adams’ blog. Let me know if you’d like to see it.

    Reply

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