Vermont high school takes over Macy's space

With crisscrossing escalators and the acoustics of a racquetball court this high school combines the pleasant environment of a department store with teenage academia. During renovations to Downtown Burlington High School toxic industrial chemicals, called PCB's, were found in the soil, making the return for the high schoolers from Covid-remote learning to in-person, not an option at that location. Superintendent of schools Tom Flanagan searched for alternative locations and eventually found the shuttered Macy's less than 2 miles from the school as a good candidate. Learning about mitochondria and chloroplasts steps away from where you once tried on a pair of jeggings might take the edge off of the drudgery of regular high school course work.

via AP:

"It's weird but cool at the same time," said freshman Moses Doe, 15, who said he and his family shopped plenty at Macy's before it became his school. He's getting used to the new space every day, he said, and the escalators and elevators are nice features.

The building underwent a $3.5 million retrofit supported by the state that added partial walls for classrooms while keeping some Macy's remnants, like the sparkly white tile floors, bright red carpeting, and Calvin Klein and Michael Kors signs and a large-scale Levi's jeans photo on a classroom wall. The library is housed in the former Macy's china department, with books displayed on under-lit shelves, while the gym is in a former store's warehouse and is still unfinished.

Despite some challenges with noise because the classroom walls don't rise to the ceiling, the school is working, officials said.

This gives a unique opportunity to a high school student to get high in the same bathroom that has flown under two completely different flags. I'm not encouraging this activity but to not recognize the possibility would seem irresponsible on my part.