Champlain College bought the Ethan Allen Club property on College Street for $2,627,000 Tuesday after receiving approval late Monday night from the Burlington City Council. That's according to David Provost, the college's vice president of finance and administration.
According to Provost, at Monday's meeting, councilors asked Champlain spokespeople if they were open to delaying their Tuesday closing deadline. Provost and his colleagues replied that they were afraid of losing the property if they didn't close immediately. So they asked the council: "Can you point to projects on the hill where we've disappointed you?"
The council acquiesced, albeit with two stipulations: First, that Champlain agree to review the size of its building proposal, and second, that the college work with the YMCA on its search for new childcare space. (The Y will lose slots at nearby Edmunds Elementary on Main Street in July.) The second clause, according to Provost, was suggested by City Councilor Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1). Adrian raised the YMCA's childcare issues at a December 10 City Hall public forum.
Two days before that forum, Adrian had asked the council to approve the sale without any strings attached. But, as Adrian explained at the December 10 forum, he wouldn't have made his December 8 proposal had he know more about the YMCA's issues.
Adds Provost, Champlain will ask 2 or 3 people who attended the December 10 forum to serve on a design-review committee. A similar committee exists for the former Eagles Club property on St. Paul Street, where the college also plans to build new apartment-style housing for its students.