Sale of Marlboro campus to music school finalized


The Marlboro College campus. Courtesy photo

Marlboro Music announced on Tuesday that it has completed the purchase of the former Marlboro College campus.

As part of the deal, Marlboro Music agreed to donate $ 2.74 million to Democracy Builders Fund, a non-profit organization once run by a man now accused of federal financial crimes. The music school and festival will also free Democracy Builders from a $ 1.5 million debt owed to Marlboro Music, which has been leasing space on campus for decades and investing heavily in its capital infrastructure. Closing costs estimated at $ 100,000 will be covered by Marlboro Music.

Democracy Builders, which bought the Marlboro College campus in 2020 and pledged to build a new higher education business for marginalized students, paid just $ 225,000 in cash at the time.

Much of the money paid to Democracy Builders must be repaid either to creditors or to Marlboro Music. According to a “no objection notice” issued by the Vermont Attorney General’s office, the parties have said the proceeds of the sale will go to campus creditors first before 50% of the remaining amount is returned to Marlboro Music to support its programming on site. . Democracy builders can keep the rest.

“Potash Hill has been our home since Marlboro Music was founded in 1951 as a center for advanced music studies,” said Christopher Serkin, chairman and chairman of the board of Marlboro Music, in a statement. “This purchase ensures that our program will continue to support the development of musical leaders here for generations to come.”

Campus ownership has been challenged after Democracy Builders apparently sold – and then apparently canceled the purchase of – the campus to Type 1 Civilization, an LLC controlled by a Canadian businessman with grandiose plans to open a cryptocurrency and a technology hub on the 500-acre plot. Guy 1 was given an undisclosed sum to allow the deal to be concluded.

“The sale was really with Democracy Builders, and they got pretty much all of the payment,” music festival spokesperson Brian Potter wrote in an email. “We came to an agreement with Type 1 which made the sale possible, although on the advice of the lawyer, we could not specify the precise amount.”

Marlboro Music has formed a nonprofit affiliate, Potash Hill, Inc., to own the campus title and oversee its maintenance and operations.

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