Castleton Begins Campus Construction

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(Host) Castleton State College has announced $13 million worth of new construction projects. As VPR’s Nina Keck reports, they include a new residence hall plus a large outdoor pavilion area for hosting large-scale events.

(Keck) Castleton State College President David Wolk showed off architectural drawings while construction machinery was busy behind him, tearing up campus tennis courts.

By next June, those tennis courts will be long gone – replaced by a new 162-bed residence hall.

(Wolk) "The benefit for us is that we’ve been very crowded. The last two years we’ve had students living in the Ramada in Rutland in the fall and then we bring them back. But this will allow us to house all the students who request housing. It also will allow us to host more community events here."

(Keck) Wolk says it’s the fifth new residence hall built on campus in the past decade and the culmination of $68 million in new construction and renovation.

The latest project will be paid for with bonds issued by the college. Wolk says the project will include tearing down the campus facilities plant, which includes transportation and maintenance equipment.

A new building built to resemble a barn will be built to house that facility on the fringe of campus.

Wolk says that will open up a prime piece of real estate right near the entrance to Spartan Stadium. He says the college will turn that space into an outdoor covered pavilion with seating for up to 3,000 for large events like weddings, concerts or business shows.

He says it’s something this part of the state doesn’t have.

(Wolk) "We have crowds much larger than that here for a Saturday football game or for commencement, which occurred last week. So we know we can handle a crowd like that and it’s going to be beautiful and attractive and it’s a way for us to serve Vermont."

(Keck) And generate much needed revenue for the college.

(Wolk) "One of the reasons that we need to look at entrepreneurial ventures is that next year less than 10 percent of the college’s revenue will come from the state. We’re a public college, but we are actually the lowest-funded public college in the country. And because we want to continue to restrain tuition increases and make college affordable, we need to look at other revenue streams."

(Keck) He says the new dormitory, facilities plant and outdoor pavilion are expected to be completed early next summer.

For VPR News, I’m Nina Keck in Castleton.

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