The Burlington School District is
proposing a plan that would involve buying, selling and leasing school
buildings around the city.
The school board has made a formal
request to purchase the old St. Joseph School on Allen Street for $2 million.
The Catholic school closed three years ago.
That purchase would be paid for by
selling the school administration building on Colchester Avenue to the
University of Vermont for $2 million.
The school district also wants to
lease the Taft School to UVM. The district attempted to sell Taft to UVM
before, but a judge vetoed the deal because covenants in the deed require the
city to turn the building into a home for indigent men if it ever stops being
used as a school. The district believes the lease plan will get around that
"The new space is
exactly that, it's larger space. It's about 20 percent more square footage than
these two buildings have. It has a large very functional kitchen, it has the
gym-auditorium that we don't have here or as nice as we have here either, so
the potential is limitless," said Jeanne Collins, the superintendent of
The lease deal would be
for $20,000 a year for 80 years. UVM would pay the full $1.6 million up front
and the city would use that money to renovate the St. Joseph's School. It would be used for administrative
offices and educational purposes.
Approval of the City Council is needed before
the district can begin formal negotiations with the Catholic Diocese.
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