Feasibility Study Announced to Explore Future Use of Campus
RUTLAND, Vt. (June 13, 2019)— The College of St. Joseph’s (CSJ) board voted to keep the college open and reimagine its future. The board’s decision reflects its continued commitment to the community and attracting youth, diversity and innovation to help grow and maintain the economic vitality of the Rutland region as it has for over 50 years.
To work towards this future, CSJ has announced it will conduct a feasibility study over the next few months to provide a long term, sustainable plan for the campus, and the greatest economic impact for the community. The study will be completed by a project team made up of members of the college and their project partners, Vermont Works Management Company and Vermont Innovation Commons, to explore options for the future use of its 117-acre campus. The study envisions a new future for CSJ that amplifies the local economy, invests in the careers of Rutland area residents and creates opportunities for area entrepreneurs to launch, grow and stay in Vermont. CSJ and its partners are passionate about creating a new economy for Vermont and the region to ensure a viable future for all of its residents. The group will explore expanded workforce and professional development programs, support for startup companies, the potential for co-work and co-living space being developed on CSJ’s 117-acre campus, and more.
“We are excited to start the process of reimagining the College of St. Joseph as a vibrant and vital economic hub of activity for Rutland and Southern Vermont,” said Dr. Jennifer Scott, College of St. Joseph President. “Our vision is that CSJ retains and improves its core mission to provide outstanding educational opportunities for personal and professional growth, intellectual development, and service to the community while contributing to the local economy. This feasibility study represents the first step in the process, helping us determine how best to move forward. We will be looking to our community to help identify the greatest need and the best possible use of our campus.”
Significantly, CSJ has the educational infrastructure and experience to educate new entrepreneurs, who may then access funding as a result of CSJ’s geographical location in one of Vermont’s 25 “Opportunity Zones,” a new federal program that encourages private investment in businesses and facilities. The feasibility study will look at how CSJ can leverage the Opportunity Zone program to attract substantial new investment helping local startup companies launch, grow, and stay in Vermont.
“To grow our regional economy we will need to continue to develop thoughtful workforce development programming and broad, multi-dimensional business support resources,” said Tyler Richardson, executive director of Rutland Economic Development Corporation. “Identifying a sustainable path to re-purposing the CSJ campus in a way that addresses these priorities would be a transformative opportunity for the community.”
Initial funding for this exploration is supported through agreements with Heritage Family Credit Union and Vermont Works Management Company. Additional community financial support for this project is necessary to complete the feasibility study.
“We believe this feasibility study is an important next step for identifying the future role CSJ will play within our community, so it may continue to serve the needs of those individuals looking for educational and developmental opportunities for many years to come,” explained Matt Levandowski, President/CEO of Heritage Family Credit Union.
The first phase of the study will seek community input through interviews, town hall meetings, and public forums to solicit ideas and opinions. Notice of all community engagements will be posted on the College’s website (csj.edu) and Facebook page. The public is encouraged to share their ideas on Facebook @collegeofstjoseph or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About College of St. Joseph
Founded in 1956, College of St. Joseph is a small, private, non-profit institution in Rutland, Vermont that educates men and women of varied faiths and backgrounds for lives of continuing personal and professional growth, intellectual development, and service to the community. It is the vision of the College of St. Joseph to provide outstanding educational opportunities to all who seek to enrich their journey through life. For more information, visit csj.edu.
Jennifer L. Scott, President
College of St. Joseph