Burlington will construct a new high school building on the site occupied by its former one, the city’s school board decided unanimously Tuesday night.
The move aligns with recommendations made by Superintendent Tom Flanagan and a consulting firm hired to study the issue.
The site on the north side of 52 Institute Road “can successfully house a high school and technical center, provides adequate space for both indoor and outdoor learning, has ready access to our athletic fields, and is proximate to other experiential learning environments,” Flanagan wrote in a memo to school commissioners.
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Burlington has been looking for a new place to teach high schoolers since last year, when officials found toxins in the 1960s-era Burlington High. The building had to be abandoned, and students now attend classes at a former Macy’s department store downtown.
School and city officials had considered keeping the school downtown, but consultants said building a high school there would be “far more challenging than the Institute Road site.”
The clock is ticking for the city to break ground on the new site, since the lease for the high school’s current location expires in 2024.
In June, Flanagan laid out a plan to get the new building move-in ready by the time the current lease expires.
The Institute Road location will allow a cheaper and quicker construction effort than other sites the board could have chosen, according to a feasibility assessment for the project.
While the new school’s projected price tag is unclear, the city likely will ask voters to approve a bond in November 2022 to pay for the project.
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