October 24, 2014

New life for Pine Ridge School property?

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The former Pine Ridge School property has 14 buildings, including this former dormitory. V/T Commercial is seeking offers by Feb. 17. (Observer courtesy photo).

The former Pine Ridge School property has 14 buildings, including this former dormitory. V/T Commercial is seeking offers by Feb. 17. (Observer courtesy photo).

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

After five years standing empty, the former Pine Ridge School campus could see activity again soon.

Real estate company V/T Commercial, which is looking for a buyer for the People’s United Bank-owned property, recently sent out a solicitation for offers. V/T Commercial held tours on Jan. 28 and 30.

Broker Brad Worthen said the tours were well attended, and two groups have expressed interest in the property—one for housing development, one “in line with continuing it as an educational campus.”

“It’s a beautiful property and with the right use it would certainly be beneficial to the town and the region, it’s just a matter of finding the right match with what can be put there,” Worthen said. “I think we’ve got a couple people that have the right idea at this point, but the proof is in the pudding and we’ll see if they step up to the plate.”

Interested parties have until Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. to submit a proposal.

While there is no formal asking price for the property, Underhill-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation center Maple Leaf Farm in 2011 signed a purchase and sales agreement for the property for $2.85 million.

After approximately a year of talks—largely regarding the zoning change that would have been required—Maple Leaf Farm withdrew plans to open a facility. Some neighbors voraciously opposed the location, while others spoke in favor of it.

According to the solicitation for offers, bids will be considered based on price, terms, contingencies and timing of closing.

The Williston Road property is approximately 128 acres in four parcels and has 14 buildings totaling approximately 68,000 square feet. The buildings include three modern dormitory facilities, administration building, full cafeteria/dining room, a two-story academic building, an air-conditioned all-purpose athletic facility and numerous smaller buildings.

Pine Ridge School, a private school for students with learning differences that had operated for 40 years, closed in 2009.

Town Planner Ken Belliveau said he has recently received “a couple calls” about the property, including one on Monday. For more information, call V/T Commercial at 864-2000.

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