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Lodging, dining, event venue planned at former Vermont college

  By Press  |    Tuesday April 18, 2023

Category: Press

Originally Published:

BENNINGTON, Vt. - A health care system will sell the former Southern Vermont College campus to a developer who has plans to transform the 366-acre property into lodging, dining and event venue.

In an announcement Friday, Southwestern Vermont Health Care said it has entered into a purchase and sale agreement of the campus to Alfred Weissman Real Estate, LLC. The transfer includes the Everett Mansion, dormitories, gymnasium, soccer field and acreage. The purchase price was not disclosed in a statement made Friday.

The developer detailed its vision to create a 4- to 5-star destination, renovating the Everett Mansion and dormitories into 130 high-end lodging rooms. Also planned, a restaurant and spa, and retrofitting the gymnasium into an activities center and event venue. It will partner with the Preservation Trust of Vermont to preserve the Everett Mansion and with the Bennington Area Trail System to continue to make the trail system open and available to the public, according to the announcement. The health care system will retain the 5-acre lower baseball field.

“The former college campus has served our health system and community well – most especially over the past three years during the pandemic as our COVID Resource Center as we tested and vaccinated over 60,000 people,” said Tom Dee, president and CEO of Southwestern Vermont Health Care in a statement. “AWRE will continue this tradition of community partnership as they redevelop the campus for greater usage.”

The health care system bought the campus in December 2020 after it closed the summer before. As well as using it for the COVID-19 community clinic, it partnered with the town of Bennington and Bennington Area Trail System to maintain playing fields for youth athletics and keep the trail system open.

Principal and CEO Alan Weissman said his firm is looking forward to restoring the Everett property and mansion to its original splendor and sees economic benefits for local businesses, jobs for residents and an increased tax base.

According to the statement, the Weissman firm has been involved in several commercial development categories since their inception over 50 years ago, including hospitality, residential, retail, office and industrial properties. It likes to get involved within the regions where they do business by sponsoring community charities and serving on chambers of commerce.

“This is a great day for Bennington,” stated Bennington Town Manager Stuart Hurd. “This property speaks to the heart of our community, and we are excited with AWRE’s vision as they develop it into a world-class destination.”

Among the communities Southwestern Vermont Health Care provides care to are eastern Rensselaer and Washington counties.

Ref: Times Union

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