Burlington School Board Votes Unanimously to Move Forward Planning for New Building!
Burlington High School (BHS) and Burlington Technical Center (BTC) are one step closer to having a permanent home! On Tuesday, November 2nd, the Burlington Board of School Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Superintendent Tom Flanagan’s recommendation “to select 52 Institute Road – North as the location of a newly designed Burlington High School and Burlington Technical Center and to direct the Superintendent to focus all design efforts on this location.”
“This is great news for our students, staff, and Burlington community,” said Superintendent Tom Flanagan. “While we are grateful for the spaces we currently have, we know they are not long-term solutions. Burlington deserves a building designed to support 21st-century learning from the ground up, and I am excited to have a clear path forward so that we can work together with the community to create a building that fosters equity, engagement, and deep learning.”
52 Institute Road is the current location of the old BHS and BTC campus. The new structure would likely be built east of the current buildings, closer to North Avenue, which could mean the District may not need to demolish the existing buildings before beginning construction on the new site.
On behalf of the Board of School Commissioners, Chair Clare Wool noted, “It is our obligation as a school board to advocate for our schools and to adhere to sound fiscal stewardship and responsibility. Not having a permanent high school and technical center puts our city in a state of emergency and needs to be our top priority when making financial decisions. Following last night’s decision to move forward with the site on the north side of Institute Road, our goal is to put a bond for the new high school on the ballot in November 2022. At this point in the process, we do not yet know the amount of that bond but we hope that knowledge of this plan is helpful to voters as they prioritize their options.”
BSD plans to issue an RFP for architectural and engineering services this week, with the goal of presenting conceptual design and cost estimating to the school board in the Spring of 2022. The final schematic design and cost estimate is likely to be approved by August of 2022 to allow a bond to be placed on the November 2022 ballot. Superintendent Flannagan has committed to working to keep as much burden off taxpayers as possible. “We’ve committed $10 million of our ESSER funds to this project, we are looking into philanthropic opportunities, and we are meeting with State and Federal representatives and pushing for school construction aid. I want to make sure we can support Burlington taxpayers as much as possible throughout this process.”