C.B. Hall

Atop Potash Hill, new prospects

With new leadership comes a variety of options for former Marlboro College campus

Twenty-nine months after an organization known as the Democracy Builders Fund purchased the campus of Marlboro College and commenced an ill-fated educational project known as Degrees of Freedom on the property, stability has returned to the scenic campus under the aegis of a newly formed nonprofit called Potash Hill, Inc.

Potash Hill, which acquired the real estate in September 2021 and takes its name from the hill that dominates the campus, is an offspring of Marlboro Music, the Philadelphia-based nonprofit that has been leasing space on the property for its world-renowned music festival since 1951.

The new owner has spent the last 12 months investigating possibilities for using its 560-acre campus. In a Sept. 15 press release, the organization announced the hiring of Brian Mooney, a Brattleboro resident who both studied and later taught at Marlboro College, to guide the Potash Hill project forward.

In the words of the release, he “will work to secure tenants and partners for the campus with a focus on artistic, cultural, educational, and environmental uses throughout the year."...

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Marlboro campus sale ends months of uncertainty

Sale to Marlboro Music portends a new beginning for former college campus, but the brief-but-complicated legacy of Democracy Builders Fund and Degrees of Freedom could take months to untangle

The saga of troubles that followed Marlboro College's 2019 announcement that it was closing may have reached its denouement, and a happy one at that. On Sept. 24, Democracy Builders Fund (DBF), which purchased the 533-acre campus and its 52 buildings in 2020 for a pittance in cash, conveyed...

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Marlboro campus sale takes step forward in $4.34 million deal

Democracy Builders to sell former college campus to new nonprofit; pledges share of profit from sale to the music festival

The Vermont attorney general's office (AGO) has issued a “notice of no objection” to the planned sale of the former Marlboro College campus to an entity owned by the Marlboro Music Festival in a transaction totaling $4.34 million. That nonprofit entity - Potash Hill, Inc. - will acquire the...

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In Marlboro, turmoil swirls around a former campus

Late last month, townspeople got big news - twice. On April 27, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York filed a criminal complaint against Seth Andrew, the motivating force behind Democracy Builders Fund (DBF), which purchased the campus of the defunct Marlboro College last July. On April 30, Degrees of Freedom, an innovative but non-accredited educational institution and a DBF project, announced it was delaying launch of its operations on the 533-acre campus. The events generated...

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Marlboro’s deals with Emerson, DBF await state decision

The sale of the Marlboro College campus, announced on May 28, is moving forward - slowly. An agreement to “exchange assets” with Emerson College was signed June 26, formally setting in motion the partnership between the two institutions that was announced last fall. That plan is still subject to regulatory approval, and it is contingent in no small part on the successful sale of the Marlboro campus by July 31, now under a purchase-and-sale agreement with Democracy Builders Fund (DBF),

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