Campus Master Plan: Kowalsky House & Annex Construction Project

After more than 30 years of acquiring and re-purposing buildings to provide supportive shelter to artists and writers, the Vermont Studio Center is excited to break ground in September 2016 on the first project of a decade-long Campus Master Plan that will result in comprehensive upgrades in sustainability, historic preservation, accessibility, safety, function, and comfort in each of our studio and housing buildings.

The first project in this Campus Master Plan is the renovation and historic preservation of our Kowalsky House (1896) & Annex (1834) for resident housing. This project began August 2016 and will be completed in May 2017.




The Kowalsky House Project: Timelapse

A look at the progress of the Kowalsky House project so far:

Timeline for the Kowalsky project:

August-September 2016
Kowalsky Barn Deconstruction

October-November 2016
Groundbreaking and start of Construction- site work, site utilities, excavation, foundations and slabs, relocate Annex, demolition at West wall of Kowalsky House

December 2016-January 2017
Construction Continues- structural framing, exterior doors and windows, weathertight envelope, winterize

February-March 2017
Construction Continues- Interior framing and sheetrock, mechanical systems and equipment, interior walls and doors,

April-May 2017
Construction Continues- interior and exterior finishes, millwork, plumbing fixtures, lighting, landscaping

May 15, 2017
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

June 2017
Construction close-out, building commissioning & systems tuning, Punch List execution

We have worked closely with our construction team to minimize disruptions to campus life throughout this period. Construction will take place during normal daytime business hours (weekdays only, beginning no earlier than 7:30am and ending no later than 5:00pm), and all of our campus spaces outside of the immediate construction zone will remain fully operational.


Read below for up-to-date construction news:

Kowalsky House is the initial project in our 3-phase campus housing and studio renovation and preservation project.

The flyover video below shows a model of the future of the VSC campus in 2025 and beyond:


Our Philanthropic Partner in the Campus Planning Process: Cushman Design Group

This plan could not have taken shape without the philanthropic leadership of Cushman Design Group*, whose work will ensure that the distinctive sense of place and community that has distinguished VSC since 1984 will endure for generations to come.

Designer Milford Cushman of Cushman Design Group in Stowe, VT (shown far right) presents the Kowalsky House renovation plan to the VSC Board of Trustees

Designer Milford Cushman of Cushman Design Group in Stowe, VT (shown far right) presents the Kowalsky House renovation plan to the VSC Board of Trustees

“This is the project of a lifetime”
— Milford Cushman

Developed together over two years of intensive study, reflection, and design work, this comprehensive and ambitious plan reflects our shared commitment to energy efficiency, building integrity, universal accessibility, privacy, tranquility, health, safety, and the Vermont traditions of modesty, simplicity, and economy. 

The principles guiding  the campus planning process aim to: 

  • Preserve the historic integrity and beauty of the VSC campus
  • Celebrate a sense of place in Johnson and Vermont 
  • Insist on the health and human safety of the VSC community 
  • Be mindful of VSC’s role as a neighbor in Johnson 
  • Think forward about VSC’s program and corresponding space requirements 
  • Reduce VSC’s impact on the environment 
  • Minimize moisture in foundations and structures 
  • Care for structural integrity and modernize systems 
  • Build in maintenance and service efficiencies 
  • Foster privacy, silence, and tranquility inside and out 
  • Strengthen VSC’s green spaces and riverbanks 
  • Stabilize long-term operational and energy costs 
  • Consider adjacent properties and protection 
  • Extend VSC’s tradition of modesty and simplicity

*Milford Cushman and Terri Gregory's contribution to this project, which has been donated entirely in-kind, is currently in excess of $175,000 and will total approximately $300,000, spread out on an as needed basis over 12 year time frame or until the VSC Master Plan is implemented.