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School Might Buy Randolph Farm From Developer

  • The Three Stallion Inn and about 600 acres of Green Mountain Stock Farm land in Randolph, Vt., may be sold to the Brunswick School, a private boys school in Greenwich, Ct. by its owner, and graduate of the Brunswick School, Sam Sammis. Sunday, January 29, 2017. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News — James M. Patterson

The Herald of Randolph
Published: 1/30/2017 12:06:36 AM
Modified: 1/30/2017 12:06:39 AM

Randolph — A private school in Greenwich, Conn., hopes to establish a new “mountain campus” in Randolph, on property of the former Green Mountain Stock Farm now owned by Jesse “Sam” Sammis.

The Brunswick School is an all-boys school with about 950 students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Founded in 1902, it occupies two campuses in Greenwich including more than 100 classrooms, 11 science labs and multiple art and athletic facilities.

According to a letter to the town of Randolph from Headmaster Thomas Philip, the school would like to acquire a satellite campus in a rural area “where boys can spend periods of time away from Greenwich to learn more about themselves and the larger world around them.”

The idea is to create a place where students can pursue the regular curriculum “while living and working in a sustainable farm community, tending live animals and growing crops,” he wrote.

The school would purchase the Three Stallion Inn and the Morgan House across the road. It would also purchase about 600 acres of property.

Sammis has had the property on the market for several years. He said the prospect of the sale is “very exciting … (and) will be very good for the community.”

Sammis has known Philip for about 10 years, he said, but conversations about the purchase began just this past fall.

The original Stock Farm property, when Sammis purchased it in 1971, was about 1,300 acres, he said. He has sold 25 building lots of 10-15 acres each and will retain about 30 potential housing lots.

A former developer in Greenwich, Sammis himself attended the Brunswick School from kindergarten through graduation, he said. A grandson is currently attending the school.

He and his wife Ginny plan to stay in Randolph, he said and “help the school get acquainted” with the community.

The school and its students, Sammis said, would have a positive impact on Randolph. “If it works out, you could see some nice things happening,” he said.

The sale to Brunswick would include 46 parcels currently designated as building lots, but the school intends to keep them undeveloped while maintaining the trail system, Philip told the Herald. Some of the property might be donated to a land conservancy, he added.

“The Brunswick School sees itself establishing intern relationships with local entities such as the hospital, the theater, community service organizations and local farms,” Philip wrote.

Philip said that about a dozen students, most likely sophomores, would spend a week to two weeks in the Three Stallion Inn. A caretaker would live in the Morgan House across the street.

The students would “immerse themselves in some of the potential intern possibilities, while also continuing to pursue their studies and learn outdoor survival skills.”

The school might also use the Randolph facilities for faculty retreats and alumni events, the letter from the headmaster stated.

The entire former Stock Farm property owned by Sammis is part of a zoning district called the Residential District. In view of the Brunswick School proposal, Sammis has asked the town for an amendment to the land use that is permitted in the Residential District.

The change would allow “community service” to become conditional use in the district; it is now prohibited.

A “community service” use, explained Randolph Zoning Administrator Mardee Sanchez, is “any use of land or structures for the purpose of providing or conducting civic, educational, cultural, or religious services, both commercial and nonprofit.”

A hearing will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by the Randolph Planning Commission to take public comments on the proposed amendment.

Sanchez said the proposal does not seem to be controversial at this point.

In a letter to town planners, Sammis pointed to a long list of events that have been going on during the 45 years he has owned the property, including an equestrian camp for girls, the Lippitt Morgan horse shows, a cross-country ski training camp, outdoor concerts by the Vermont Symphony — and the use of the property for Fourth of July fireworks.

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