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Leodis V. McDaniel High School on the first day of school September 1, 2021. (Photo/PPS)
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 10 September 2021

On September 1, 2021, a fully modernized McDaniel High School reopened after a two-year construction period. A special Grand Opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 18 at 11:00 a.m. at the front of the school at 2735 NE 82nd Ave. This 21st-century learning environment will provide Portland’s most diverse student population, who speak over 30 languages, with new facilities, programs and opportunities for success. The fully remodeled 296,000 square foot campus features over 170,000 square feet of new construction, including two theatres, two gyms, and a student commons that serves as the heart of the new school. These new facilities blend seamlessly with the updated mid-century modern building.

Inclusive Design process

McDaniel High was designed through a multi-year planning and design effort that gathered the ideas of hundreds of staff, students, and community stakeholders. This was accomplished through a series of listening sessions, multi-lingual public meetings and hands-on interactive workshops to create a campus that will inspire and support students and staff for decades to come.

Focus on student achievement and the community

Students in the newly modernized McDaniel can access specialty labs for digital design, engineering, robotics, digital art, biomedical, sculpture, construction, and sustainable agriculture, in addition to a brand-new maker space. Plus, the school has dedicated facilities for the community including a child care center, public health clinic, and community food pantry.

From Madison to McDaniel

Madison is one of two PPS high schools to go through a re-naming process in response to student and community concerns about the racist beliefs and actions of the U.S. presidents they were named for. The effort was started by Madison students who wanted a school name that reflected the values of their community. The Madison Renaming Committee engaged the school and larger communities through robust outreach efforts, gathering nearly 2,500 comments. After careful consideration, Leodis V. McDaniel was selected as the new name.

Leodis V. McDaniel was a greatly respected, and well-loved Portland community leader who gained an impeccable reputation as an administrator at Madison High School in the 1970s and 1980s. McDaniel was one of only a handful of Black High school principals in Oregon in the 1980s and was tasked with leading Madison through desegregation and busing. McDaniel embraced these challenges as he did all of his work with the singular purpose of fairness to all. McDaniel was wildly popular with students and staff while earning numerous awards and accolades from the many community organizations to which he contributed.

Focus on Sustainability

The renovation of McDaniel High School was done with a focus on sustainability and will receive at least a LEED Silver certification. Highlights include:

  • The school’s 290kW solar panel array produces enough electricity to power 28 homes for a year.
  • 100% of the rainwater that falls on site is cleaned to recharge the local aquifer.
  • The school’s energy and water systems use the latest technology to increase their efficiency.
  • The extensive use of natural light reduces classroom electricity use.
  • Over 10,000 tons of crushed concrete from demolition was recycled and reused.

For more information visit https://www.pps.net/Page/1840 or contact David Mayne Bond Communications Manager at dmayne@pps.net.


Portland Public Schools, founded in 1851, is Oregon’s largest PK-12 school district, preparing students to “lead change, and improve the world.” With more than 47,000 students in 81 schools, PPS strives to ensure academic excellence and personal success for every student, especially our Black, Native American, students of color and/or with disabilities. Central to this goal is affirming and operationalizing our deeply held community value of racial equity, social justice and inclusion.

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