Burlington High School will need to be rebuilt due to cancer causing carcinogens within the shcool.

Chemically contaminated high school in Burlington, Vt., needs to be replaced

May 7, 2021
Officials had hope to remove the PCBs that have made the school building unsafe, but now acknowledge that the contamination is too extensive.

The Burlington High School building in Burlington, Vt., is beyond saving because of chemical contamination, and a new school will have to be built

VTdigger reports that district officials had hoped to remove the carcinogens that have made the facility unsuitable for school, but the extensive nature of the contamination has made remediation impractical.

“The remediation that will be needed to address the contamination pushes us over the threshold of what is possible in this building," Superintendent Tom Flanagan says. "And I believe that we need to start fresh with a new build.”

The district discovered last year, while students were receiving instruction remotely, the the high school was unsafe because of the presence of PCBs.

The district spent $10 million to renovate a vacant Macy's department for use as a temporary high school.

Remediation of the high school facility would cost the district between $7 million and $12 million, Flanagan says. Even then, it’s unlikely that the building would meet state safety thresholds because of the extensive contamination.

School board members backed Flanagan's recommendation to call off the renovations and find a site for a new high school.

Flanagan said the district has not determined how much a new high school campus would cost.

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