BURLINGTON, Vt. — Work is underway in Burlington to turn an abandoned department store in the Vermont city’s downtown into a temporary high school.
As part of a 10-week, $10 million construction project, crews are turning the closed Macy’s Department store into a school.
Burlington High School was closed in September after elevated levels of PCBs were found in several buildings on the campus.
The Macy’s location could be in use for up to three years, depending on how long it takes to clean-up and renovate the high school. The school has been operating remotely since the discovery.
“We are here to recognize the future of Burlington High School,” Burlington Schools Superintendent Tom Flanagan told reporters. “This is going to be a high school. This is not designed as a temporary space.”
It’s hoped students can begin learning in the temporary location by March.
“We know we need to be back in person, that’s where the real learning happens,” Flanagan said.
The space in the department store will have the same number of classrooms as the existing high school, said Marty Spaulding, the district’s director of property services.
There is also ample parking nearby and the city’s central bus station is nearby.