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Burlington School District looking to buy and sell - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington School District looking to buy and sell

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

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 requirement.

"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 Burlington schools.

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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