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Is Kolburne Losing Ground and Property?

Nichole Dupont

Generally I’m not one to go for the “heard it through the grapevine” approach to stories, but since it’s a small community and jobs may be on the line, I was hard pressed (actually, begged) not to use any names for this one. Actually, people have lost their jobs already, or been demoted or absorbed as a result of this latest news from Kolburne School.

The Caldwell House, which is a satellite residential home for students at the school, will be closing tomorrow. Employees at the house, which is located in Sheffield (set away from the road a stone ’s throw away from the covered bridge), found out roughly two weeks ago that it would be closing. While the school has managed to “absorb” these seven employees, many have been demoted or had to take a pay cut as a result of the closing.

Caldwell House is rumored to be closing tomorrow.

I’m not sure what exactly will happen to the six students who were living at the house but it is clear that Kolburne School, like most residential schools, is being hit hard by the economy. Enrollment has dropped significantly from roughly 120 students down to 80 (or less) and the school is still in the middle of labor union negotiations as it seems they want to downsize employee contracts, which are reportedly already slim to begin with.

In addition to its main campus in Southfield, Kolburne has three residential campuses in Lee, Great Barrington and Sheffield. Actually, make that two since the Sheffield campus will be closing tomorrow. It may be on the market within the month.

It is hard to say where the school will go from here. Rumors have been flying that it is on the brink of financial collapse and much of what’s happening seems to be pointing in that direction, although no official news has come from the school itself. Thus far the news of closings and contracts and scandal has been a strong whispering current in the community at large.

More to follow…

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Tags: Caldwell, House, Closing, Kolburne School      

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