Burlington residents will have the chance to vote on funding for the Burlington High School and Tech Center construction project in November.
On Monday night, the Burlington City Council approved the school district’s bail application to be included in the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Burlington voters and taxpayers will be asked if they will pay $165 million of the project’s cost, largely through property taxes.
“Today’s vote underscores our civic leaders’ recognition that we need a permanent home for students that is accessible and designed to promote deep learning experiences for all,” Superintendent Tom Flanagan said. in a press release. “I look forward to sharing more about this project as we prepare for voting this fall.
The tax impact is estimated at 15.67% for those who pay based on property value, but this number could drop due to recent changes in the state’s weighted student formula and depending on the amount of money the district raises for the project. Flanagan said the district continues to seek funding sources through state and federal means as well as private fundraising through the Burlington Students Foundation.
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The total cost is expected to be $190 million to rebuild Burlington High School and Burlington Tech Center at its former Institute Road location and to rid the property of hazardous materials. The Burlington School District has allocated $35 million in the cost of federal coronavirus funds, money from the previous fundraising campaign, a budget surplus and a grant to move some of the programs from the Burlington Technical Center to the Burlington International Airport.
School board president Clare Wool said the district will hold two town halls and present information at community events so residents are informed ahead of the vote.
“This foundational project will benefit Burlington students and our community for generations to come and I hope voters will be strong supporters of the project and join me in voting yes on BHS/BTC 2025!” she said in a statement.
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The Institute Road campus was evacuated and closed in September 2020 after high levels of hazardous airborne chemicals were detected. Burlington High School reopened in March 2021 in a remodeled downtown Macy’s department store. This lease is expected to expire in time for the planned completion of the construction project in the fall of 2025.
Contact reporter April Barton at [email protected] or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.