No decision on consolidation leads to retraction of property swap offer
The South Burlington Steering Committee, comprised of both City Council and School Board members, met recently to discuss their current work. One of the top items discussed was the School Board’s work regarding school consolidation. At the meeting, it became clear that the School Board did not appear to be in consensus on consolidation. Based on this information, the City Council has retracted its offer to acquire the Rick Marcotte Central School property.
The City Council had made an offer to the School Board to “swap” ownership of the Central School property for the city-owned “Oak Creek School site”, plus other considerations. This had been precipitated by the recommendation of the Master Planning and Visioning Task Force that the Central School property be re-purposed.
The City initially had an interest in creating a traditional Vermont village square on the property, where housing, business, and public facilities could surround a green central square. Subsequently, the possibility emerged to develop a South Burlington Civic Center/Arena in partnership with the University of Vermont on the property. The City is currently working on a feasibility study for the proposed facility.
This vision does not seem destined to materialize at the Central School location. In a letter to Superintendent David Young, City Manager Kevin Dorn said, “It is evident, however, from the discussion at the recent meeting of the Steering Committee that the School Board does not appear to be supportive of transferring ownership of the Central School any time soon. That being said, there is no reason to leave the offer to acquire the property on the table.”