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Vermont high school reopens in shuttered Macy's department store

Department Store School Vermont
Posted at 1:54 PM, Mar 31, 2021

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Students who once shopped at a downtown mall in Burlington, Vermont, are now attending high school in the former Macy's department store, with gleaming white tile floors and escalators whisking them to and from classes.

The existing Burlington High School was closed last August after toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs were found in the building.

School officials eyed the closed Macy's store as an alternative while the district went remote amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partial walls were added for classrooms while some remnants, like the Calvin Klein and Michael Korrs signs remained.

Burlington High School reopened to students in the former Macy's building on Mach 4.

“It’s weird but cool at the same time,” freshman Moses Doe, 15, told the Associated Press.

While noise from the partial walls is a challenge, some students say they're happy to be back in school after being remote for much of the year.

The school is leasing the building for three-and-a-half while it investigates what to do with its old school building.