Marlboro campus resold, new programs set to launch in September

The+Marlboro+College+Campus+laden+with+snow+in+early+February.

Photo: Jakob Menendez

The Marlboro College Campus laden with snow in early February.

By Jacob Seitz, Staff Writer

Type 1 Civilization Academy will take over the former Marlboro College campus from Democracy Builders, according to documents obtained by The Beacon, with just months until students are slated to arrive for the Degrees of Freedom hybrid education plan. 

Degrees of Freedom—a hybrid college education model created by Democracy Builders and Seth Andrew—will still use the rural campus, located in the foothills of the Green Mountains in southern Vermont. Type 1 will operate the campus, completing renovations and maintenance and shouldering the $1.2 million in annual operation costs, Democracy Builders Founder Seth Andrew said in an interview with the Brattleboro Reformer

Andrew and Democracy Builders have relinquished all liability from the grounds via a quitclaim deed, which transfers the entire property to Type 1.

Type 1 Civilization Academy is a Vermont-based education company, according to the documents of incorporation obtained by the Reformer. Their business purpose is described as “educational services, colleges, universities and professional schools.” Type 1 previously bid on the Southern Vermont College campus in Bennington, Vermont, but was passed over in favor of the Southern Vermont Medical Center.

According to the documents obtained by the Brattleboro Reformer, the deal is worth $9.4 million to Democracy Builders. It includes $2.5 million in cash, $2.5 million in escrowed prepaid rent, another $2.5 million as a mortgage-backed structured donation, and $1.5 million in Type 1’s takeover of lease obligations to the Marlboro Music Festival. Democracy Builders is also receiving $416,000 in rent abatement.

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Democracy Builders purchased the campus in July, right before the completion of the Emerson-Marlboro merger. The campus was sold for $1.725 million, $225,000 in cash and $1.5 million in debt repayment. Emerson initially valued the sprawling Vermont property at $10 million.

“Getting a big infusion of philanthropic support is a big deal at this moment,” Andrew told the Reformer.

Andrew stated the money saved now that Type 1 is in charge of upkeep will go to student support for the higher education program. 

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is reviewing the sale and has not yet disclosed the official sale amount of the former Marlboro College property.

The sale comes after Democracy Builders announced applications for its first for-credit program to be held on the campus, Degrees of Freedom, will go live today.

Degrees of Freedom announced two hybrid higher education programs, dubbed Freedom Year and Liberation Launch.

Degrees of Freedom partnered with Doral College, a majority-online college in Florida, to offer courses that give college credit. The Freedom Year program includes four credit-bearing courses over the course of one year, three unspecified lengths of time on the Vermont campus dubbed “rotations,” as well as internship and volunteer opportunities. 

The other program, Liberation Launch, is a two-year program. Liberation Launch students can take 30 credits worth of credit-bearing classes per year, at the same tuition rate as Freedom Year. Both programs cost $9,000 per year.

Both programs are set to start in September 2021, with the hopes of bringing around 300 students to the Vermont campus. According to Degrees of Freedom CEO Chandell Stone, there will be five concentrations for admitted students: Finance, Technology, Education, Health and Justice.