More class spaces obtained for displaced Burlington technical students

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 12:13 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The wait is almost over for Burlington Technical Center students displaced by the closure of Burlington High School due to PCB contamination. The school district has now secured alternate workspaces for all 12 BTC programs.

Students started in-person instruction at seven of those spaces last week, including the Burlington International Airport, where aviation technology students are back to hands-on learning. Tuesday night, the school board approved funding to secure spaces for the remaining five courses. The students will now return to in-person classes at a number of businesses, churches, nonprofits, unions, and former garages. They worked out a deal with Cambrian Rise to host the digital media lab, design illustration, and health sciences programs. The district is also working with a former mechanic garage in South Burlington to house two automotive programs. The district expects those will resume within two weeks.

Airport officials say they’re happy to be one of the community partners helping. “I think it’s cool. I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone involved. Hopefully, they can keep learning and growing in the program they’ve already been in and also be exposed to some things they may not otherwise be exposed to. And they’ll hopefully keep us on our game, letting our guys show the way a little bit if we can,” said Matt Walker, the airport’s director of maintenance.

The school district says many of the spaces were provided to the district free of charge or at reduced rates.

Meanwhile, the district is still working on finding space to send the rest of Burlington High School students. A group of parents ushed last night to have them return to the BHS building that has been shuttered since last month.

The school board plans to hold a strategy session on the future of BHS next Tuesday.

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