Campus Master Plan: Resident Construction Information

In September 2016, after more than 30 years of acquiring and re-purposing buildings to provide supportive shelter to artists and writers, the Vermont Studio Center broke ground on the first project in a 10-year 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.

We have worked closely with our construction team to minimize disruptions to campus life throughout this renovation project. Construction will only 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.

Summer 2018: There are no active building projects at this time.

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 was completed in May 2017.

Learn more about the preservation of Kowalsky House & Annex

The second project is slated to be the restoration and preservation of VSC's Church Studios.

This project began in July 2017 and was completed in February 2018.

Learn more about the restoration and reopening of Church Studios


The Kowalsky House 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

Church Studios Project


Early on the morning of June 7th, 2016, a fire in the VSC Church Studios destroyed the studios of 12 VSC resident and staff artists and writers, and nearly destroyed one of Johnson, Vermont's historic Main Street landmarks.

Thanks to the generosity of the VSC community, we met our matching goal--construction to restore and reopen this special building as VSC's first historically preserved, energy-efficient, accessible, and fully sprinklered studio space will begin in summer 2017!

Project Start Date: July 2017
Project Completion Date: February 2018

The VSC Campus in 2025

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.