UVM to lease local school

After years of trying, UVM has recently been allowed to lease the Elihu B. Taft building, located on the corner of Pearl and South Williams Streets.

The building belongs to the Burlington school district, and was willed to them by Taft in 1938, according to VTDigger

The will stated that the building had to be used for “school purposes.”

However, the building stopped being used for those purposes in the 1980s

The will also stated that if the school district chose to sell the building, that it should be used for elderly or poor and needy men, according to VTDigger.

UVM has wanted to use the building despite the will for years now, and has been citing it in the Campus Master Plan since 2006 according to VTDigger.

UVM will be able to lease the building for up to 160 years but the University plans to rent it for 80 years and it will be used for classes in the arts department, according to WCAX.

 For years UVM has been housing professors in “inappropriate buildings”, said Vice president for finance and administration Richard Cate.

Since the University won’t be purchasing the building they will not be disobeying the original will of Taft. 

UVM will simply be leasing the building in order to do with it what they want for University purposes. 

The lease will be for $20,000 a year, but will instead pay an up front lump sum of $1.6 million, according to VTDigger.

To make the deal happen, UVM and the Burlington school district will need approval from the Burlington City Council, according to VTDigger

“It’s ridiculous that UVM is paying that much money for a building when we are already having a budget crisis,” said sophomore Chloe Wolfman.

Cate said the purchase will not place any more stress on the UVM budget.

This is because it takes money for purchases from a savings account, of about $20 million, set aside for construction and property acquisition, according to VTDigger