Company asks judge to delay demolition of Vermont school
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The manufacturer of chemicals that are prompting Vermont’s largest city to tear down its high school wants to delay the demolition, saying that to do so now would result in the destruction of evidence.
Burlington’s school board sued Monsanto in federal court on Dec. 9, more than two years after PCBs were found during renovations to the school. It was closed. City voters approved a $165 million bond last month to help pay for a new school.
Officials hope to begin demolition in January, build the new school on site, and open in 2025.
Monsanto and new owner Bayer on Monday filed a motion in a related lawsuit from two school employees, asking a judge to stop the demolition until it can conduct a full campus inspection.
“The stakes are simply too high to play a game of chicken with a wrecking ball, especially when the delay being sought is reasonable and necessary,” the motion said.
The school district declined to comment.
Burlington High School students are attending classes in a renovated Macy’s department store in the city’s downtown.
PCBs are toxic industrial chemicals, now banned, that have accumulated in plants, fish, birds and people for decades. PCBs were used in many industrial and commercial applications, including in paint, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids.