On July 13, 2022

Castleton school to hit market

By Katy Savage

After closing for good in June, Castleton Village School will be sold.

Castleton and Hubbardton Select Boards voted 7-1 in a joint meeting July 7 to put the building on the market.

Castleton Select Board member Mary Lee Harris said the boards are working with a real estate agent to determine an appropriate price for the school.

The 23,156-square-foot building was appraised at $650,000 in February 2020, just before the pandemic caused building prices to skyrocket.

The building will be advertised for 30 days, during which time anyone can file a petition to urge the towns to not move forward with the sale. Eleven percent of the proceeds will go to Hubbardton and 89% will go to Castleton.

The towns obtained ownership of the building on July 1 for $1 following a vote on Town Meeting Day.

The building needs a new roof and deferred maintenance estimates range from $160,800 to $414,500, while upkeep is estimated to cost $125,000 per year.

“(The boards) don’t feel the taxpayers should have the burden of paying for it, paying the upkeep of it,” Harris said.

As part of the sale, the boards voted to include a deed to require the new owner to lease a portion of the building back to the recreation department.

While the building has yet to be advertised, at least one person is already interested.

Tearsa Brannock, the owner of ABC Early Education, wants to purchase the building and use part of it as a childcare enter. “We have been going back and forth trying to figure out whether the town was going to maintain ownership,” Brannock said.

Brannock operates a childcare program in Castleton and, during the pandemic, opened a new facility in West Haven. She wants to combine her programs and bring them to Castleton Village School with the support of investors.

“Castleton is the ideal location for me,” she said.

“There’s definitely a need.”

Brannock said she would use six classrooms, and lease the rest of the building. She said leasing part of it to the recreation department was a “good idea.”

“I think it’s a great idea to build a strong community-based program where the needs of children from birth to high school — those needs are being met,” she said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Rutland County has also discussed using the building.

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