BHS breaks ground on new high school


Cecily Spence

Major Miro Weinberger, Superintendent Tom Flanagan, Board Chair Clare Wool, BEA Union President Beth Fialko-Casey participate in a ceremony to begin the construction of the new high school on Institute Road.

Cecily Spence, Managing Editor

Demolition has officially started on the new Institute road campus. Taking shovels to the ground are Mayor Miro Weinberger, School Board Chair Claire Wool, Superintendent Tom Flanagan and BHS teacher and union President Beth Fialko-Casey.

In November voters approved a $165 million bond allowing the demolition and construction process to move forward.

We are here to honor a building that served our community until it absolutely could not bear to do so anymore.

— Beth Fialko-Casey

 “Ultimately dozens of elected leaders and officials, hundreds of district employees, students, parents, and educators, and thousands of Burlington voters have come together and declared that the rebuilding of our high school must be our top priority,” Weinberger said. “This is the day the Burlingtonians have dreamed of for decades. It is the day we begin to construct a high school that is worthy of the great kids of this city.” 

Weinberger emphasized the importance of the project to Burlington youth.

“As we move forwards from conceptual plans to reality, I am so happy to have the support of all of you to build a school that will support equity, inclusion and deep learning for all,” Weinberger said. 

Photo: Cecily Spence

Salvatore Boone ‘23 reflects on the time spent at the Institute road campus.

“[The old building] really was my introduction to high school, and although we were there for such a short period of time, I do have some good memories from there, and so [the demolition] makes me nostalgic,” Boone said. 

Fialko-Casey, reminds the community to reflect on the historical significance of 52 Institute Road. 

“We are here to honor a building that served our community until it absolutely could not bear to do so anymore,” Fialko said. “We are here to remember that although this building may be toxic, our achievements and our memories are not. I would like us all to take a step back and consider how this ending is actually remarkable, extraordinary even. Voting to build a new public high school in these trying times is an extraordinary act of hope.”

Boone has a similar outlook.

“The old building had its share of physical issues,” Boone said. “I’m glad that future students will have the opportunity to learn and be in a new school.”

The groundbreaking ceremony on March 15 was met with enthusiasm and hope by the community. 

“Today we make history as we say goodbye to our former campus and break ground for our future,” Wool said. “Today marks the critical first step to our bright future.”