Alternative sites sought after contamination shutters school

Alternative sites sought after contamination shutters school

2020-09-30 00:00:00

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The school district in Vermont’s largest city is trying to determine next steps after its public high school was shut down this month because of chemical contamination, including finding a possible temporary location for students.

At a town hall meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Tom Flanagan said the goal is getting the PCB levels in Burlington High School to an appropriate level under federal guidelines, WCAX-TV reported. He said it could take three months for consultants to determine if other factors are contributing to the elevated levels.

The district is considering alternative spaces for students who were sent back to remote learning.

The PCB levels were significantly high in a building housing the technical center. Finding a new space for those students may not be too hard because they make up a small group, but relocating the rest of the students will likely be harder, he said.

“Burlington High School has about 970 students, so to find a space for about 1,000 students is much more challenging, but we’re really being aggressive about finding alternative spaces and we have a lot of local partners that have stepped up and say they want to help, so that’s something that is definitely a possibility,” Flanagan said.

One option would be to find an alternative site and outfit it for two years, or as long as it takes to complete the high school renovation, he said. But it would not be easy or cheap.

He said the district is working with the school board, mayor and city councilors on alternative spaces and wants more support from the state.

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