Board Decision Gives Students More Access to Industry Leaders; Could Save $20m in BHS/BTC 2025 Costs
Thank you for your continued engagement and enthusiasm toward the BHS/BTC 2025 project. Before I share any updates, I want to invite you to please join us for a BHS/BTC Schematic Design Public Forum on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:30 PM. This will be a great chance to see where architects are in the process, provide feedback and ask questions. The meeting will be hybrid, with the ability to attend via Zoom or in-person at Downtown BHS, and it will be streamed to the District’s Facebook page.
As many of you know, last month I recommended a slight change to the project that would move BTC’s “high bay” programs from the proposed building at Institute Road to a new space we are planning at the airport (thanks to a $10m grant from Senator Leahy). By consolidating these larger programs at the airport, we are shrinking the size of the proposed BHS/BTC 2025 building, producing an anticipated cost saving of $20m. Just as importantly, the move also allows us to put these aviation and mechanical programs in direct connection with industry leaders, which will be a great opportunity for our students. I’m excited to announce that this change was approved by the board on June 22nd and our architects are already hard at work on incorporating this change into the schematic design.
I am also happy to announce that we continue to have productive conversations with City leaders and will provide an update to the City Council and Mayor Weinberger on Monday, June 27 at 6:30 PM. While the City Council and Mayor will have questions about the project, we believe this partnership is critically important to the success of our project and of students in BSD. We will listen to any questions, use those to refine and strengthen our approach, and work hard to give clear, honest answers.
I want to let you know that we are continuing to aggressively pursue funding opportunities. We have been in regular contact with our state and federal partners over the past two years to ensure they are clear on our need for support, and we are working closely with Leonine Public Affairs (LPA) who is currently compiling research that will result in a list of all federal and state funding opportunities for the high school and technical center. We have also partnered with a local 501(c)3 nonprofit, Burlington Students Foundation, who has agreed to serve as our pass-through for obtaining grants and private donations. We expect to announce more about this partnership in early July with a press release and social media campaign… stay tuned!
As we gear up to learn the final cost of this building, dial in our bond request, and begin preparing for the November vote, believe communication and engagement will continue to be of the utmost importance. I am committed to keeping you informed and I hope you will consider attending one or more of the events listed above. You can also feel free to reach out with questions and concerns.