On February 9, 2022

A plan for the former College of St. Joseph

Dear Editor,

Before the Covid pandemic, theater and live music were doing OK in Rutland. Many of the local performing artists were part of that “gig economy” and were making a living playing the Killington entertainment scene, while holding day jobs in the food & travel industry which both shut down with Covid. Now, a once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity has arisen for this city known in the past for bringing back the Paramount Theater, the lifeline for a once thriving downtown Rutland City.

Heritage Family Credit Union has verbally agreed to sell the campus of the former College of St Joseph, the last open space in Rutland City – a 100-acre mostly woodland site – to develop and create a world-class performing arts venue to include an outdoor state-of-the-art Covid-compliant amphitheater overlooking a spacious lawn for spectators with full view of the Green Mountains. The historic carriage barn, restored, will host special events with an indoor space for performances, programs, and training. The once regal mansion will house a performing arts school for all ages. Four employee residences on site will be reimagined as recording studio cabins where small groups can stay to unwind and create new music in an idyllic setting.

Vermont Tree Spirits of Rutland City, LLC, founded in 2015 at the Vermont Farmers Food Center (VFFC), is leading the way in organizing the Clement Woods Collaborative (CWC) to secure the purchase of this campus, which includes other buildings that will be utilized as a training center. To make this vision reality, $3.5 million must be raised to purchase this property. We will promote the healing power of music combined with the use of the onsite commercial kitchen and dining hall to regularly serve locally grown seasonal food provided by VFFC. That is just the beginning.

The campus is well laid out and easily set up for job training and outdoor education in healthcare, the food industry, performing arts and music to provide backup career choices to area musicians while introducing the power of music to area young people now suffering through these pandemic and climate crises.

Currently, we are building our CWC coalition and 501c3 by inviting interested parties – philanthropists, residents, entrepreneurs, and civic organizations – to take a seat at this table, to join Clement Woods Collaborative. Our initial goal is to raise the funds necessary to buy this property from Heritage Family Credit Union followed by a goal to raise additional funds to get it up and running.

Kathleen Krevetski, Rutland

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