Former Macy’s Store in Vermont Gets Converted Into a High School
First, back in March 2020, Burlington High School closed when the pandemic began and switched to all virtual learning. Six months later, they were planning to reopen in September, but they had to close their doors once more after elevated levels of cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in several of the buildings on the campus.
Though a bummer for students at the time, administrators have put their head together to help students get back to in-person learning after more than a year of being remote. And the conclusion is brilliant.
On March 2, Burlington High School reopened to students, but not in the same building it was. Now, students are getting their education in a converted space that used to be a Macy’s department store in a downtown mall.
The building is 150,000 square feet, and, like your typical Macy’s, contains escalators and elevators, which students now take to class. The floor still contains its original white tile and red carpeting, and they even kept a few Calvin Klein and Michael Kors signs on wall, among others.
In the original china department of the store is now the school’s library (it was always the quietest part of Macy’s, wasn’t it?), and the warehouse has transformed into a gym.
“It’s amazing to think that we are standing in what used to be a department store; that we’re greeting people where we used to buy winter coats; reading books where they once sold fine china; taking phone calls in converted changing rooms; and learning science in the old suit racks,” Superintendent Tom Flanagan said during the school’s opening ceremony.
As of now, half of students are physically in classes on Mondays and Thursdays, while the other half of students attend on Tuesdays and Thursday. There’s still one remote learning day for all students and teachers, which is Wednesdays.
After being in school for a month now, students are loving their new space.
“It’s weird but cool at the same time,” said 15-year-old freshman Moses Doe.
And even the mayor thinks thee idea is brilliant. What’s a city without a high school anyway? ”A city isn’t really a city without a high school,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. “There’s been this real void for months.”
You’ve got to see what the school looks like inside the old Macy’s building. Check it out below!
After almost a year with no school to call their own, Burlington High School students have a home base. On Tuesday, school leaders and local politicians gathered to celebrate the opening of a downtown campus. Click to see video and photos of the space https://t.co/J6sdDsIY83 pic.twitter.com/NpUWsDsPZp
— Seven Days (@sevendaysvt) March 3, 2021
What do you think of this Macy’s-turned-high school? Could you imagine going to math class in a department store? What do you think is the coolest part?