October 25th, 2016

Barre Could Use an Institution of Higher Learning

Last March I began to research and discuss the future of the old Ward 5 school at 4 Humbert Street, now the closed Barre Housing Authority building publicly inquiring if it might be available to address a Barre City civic weakness Ń the fact that Barre City almost distinguishes itself by being one of the only major cities in Vermont bereft of institutions of higher education. The last time Barre City had any college level institution was in July 1938 when the Universalist Seminary, which became Goddard College, left for Plainfield.

If you travel to Northfield, Randolph, or Montpelier, you can see the fringe benefits of having an institution of higher learning included in terms of urban development. I am interested in knowing if there is any way that a partnership might be developed that could initially develop a “maker” space here in Barre City similar to the Burlington Generator, but with far more of a technical occupational development flavor.

What do you think of a renovated Humbert Street as an advanced technical institution of higher learning? I believe that we could start with an enlightened version of the Burlington “Generator”, adding many other facilities in order to develop a highly technical workforce here in Barre City.

Your thoughts on this topic, as ever would be appreciated.

Paul Flint

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