Voters in the Portland (Ore.) district have approved a $790 million construction proposal to modernize four schools and address safety hazards in nearly every Portland school.

The Portland Oregonian reports that the bond plan is part of a long-term effort to modernize all 90-plus of the district's school buildings, which have an average age of about 70 years. District officials say extensive overhauls and rebuilds are the best way to address the fact that schools are woefully unprepared to withstand an earthquake.

The ballot question was the largest bond proposal ever in the school district and comes five years after voters passed a $482 million bond request.

The bond issue will generate funds for remodeling Madison and Benson high schools, and constructing a new Lincoln High and Kellogg Middle School.

In addition to school construction, bond supporters emphasized the safety fixes that the bond would pay for. Revelations last year that lead had been found in water throughout the district spotlighted how Portland had deferred maintenance and left its facilities in dangerous disrepair.

Video from KGW-TV: