Anyone looking to get a last glipse of what's left of the old Portola Middle School may need to move quickly.
After razing other campus buildings, and chipping away at the main building along Navellier Street for weeks, demolition equipment has taken a big chunk out of the main building.
The condemned 62-year-old school on Navellier Street between Portola Drive and Moeser Lane is being demolished, gradually.
Work on the demolition began in February with the removal of several trees, and workers have been at the site since spring, at first removing and containing hazardous materials in the buildings and preparing for the knock-down. Heavy equipment began chomping on the buildings at the end of September.
Portola classes are being held in temporary buildings on level ground at the western end of the site until a new Portola Middle School is built at the site of the former Castro Elementary School in El Cerrito.
The sloped portion of the current site will be graded and left empty by the school district for the time being. The temporary buildings on the flat western portion of the site, which are now being used by Portola students, will be used temporarily by Fairmont Elementary School students after the new Portola is built. Fairmont will be rebuilt on its current site.
After the Fairmont students move back to their new school, the City of El Cerrito may use the flat portion of site for soccer fields or other uses, depending on city needs at the time and agreements with the school district.
We thank Betty Buginas for the accompanying photos and videos.
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