BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Burlington City Council agreed Monday to hold off on deciding the fate of a $70 million proposal to renovate Burlington High School until September.
School district officials had hoped the council would vote on whether to put a bond issue for the project on the November ballot. But council members decided to wait until next month, after they meet to consider other issues on the ballot.
The proposal is the result of months of research and evaluation within the district that included public tours of the school and a survey. The board considered three proposals before settling on the $70 million plan last week.
It calls for the construction of a new 115,000 square-foot facility that would wrap around existing buildings, making the school more accessible. Two existing buildings would also be demolished, and the school’s outdated infrastructure would be updated as well.
Several parents of students currently enrolled at Burlington High School spoke out about the need for renovations at Monday’s meeting, including Shelly Waterman, whose daughter uses a wheelchair.
“In order for her to use the bathroom just in C building, it’s a maze of ramps, elevators, outdoor exchanges, just to get back in the building to use a bathroom that everyone else can use a flight of stairs for,” Waterman said. “I want you to think about that and just put yourself in that situation and how undignified it is for a sixteen year-old girl or anyone to have to go through that.”
In a survey conducted by Burlington School District, 79.5% of respondents said that they support putting a bond for renovations on the November ballot.