Home News and Features Greenway Institute To Purchase College Hall From VCFA

Greenway Institute To Purchase College Hall From VCFA

Vermont College of Fine Arts, College Hall. Photo by John Lazenby.
Greenway Institute announced plans to purchase College Hall — the tallest building on the VCFA campus and the one facing the green — from VCFA sometime later this year, Green-
way’s Rebecca Holcombe announced at a neighborhood meeting July 8. 

Greenway, which plans to offer undergraduate courses in sustainable engineering and develop an innovation hub, has already purchased several buildings from VCFA. In addition to College Hall, it also plans to also buy Dewey Hall on the west side of the campus, plus the undeveloped land behind the buildings on the east side of the campus.  The land and buildings will remain largely as they have looked during VCFA’s ownership, Holcombe said.

Greenway’s plans “will be great for this community and it will bring young people to Montpelier and will keep the campus vital,” Holcombe said.

Prior to selling College Hall, VCFA plans to go to the Montpelier Development Board later this summer to seek permission to subdivide the land below College Hall from the green. Holcombe said this is being done because the only way it could get financing for the green was from VCFA, and the green needs to be a separate parcel to make that deal work.

The green is currently subject to a recreation easement owned by the condominium that includes all buildings on the east side of campus, some owned by Greenway and some owned by others including the New School, so it cannot be developed without the permission of the condominium. At the meeting, Holcombe said Greenway is committed to leaving the green as it is and making it available for community and recreation use.

From July 9 to 20, Holcombe said Greenway will be hosting high school students attending the Governor’s Institute, and it is working with two organizations that may use Dewey Hall for living-and-learning programs in late summer or fall. Greenway will be running another pilot program for college students in the fall of 2025 and hopes to be in full swing with undergraduates on campus in the fall of 2026, with the number of students increasing over the next decade.

After the College Hall sale, VCFA will rent spaces for its administrative offices in the building, while VCFA’s low-residency students will in the future attend sessions in California at the campus of VCFA’s new affiliate, California Institute of the Arts, after finishing up sessions at Colorado College this summer.