BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – More than two years after a historic college shut down in Bristol, Virginia, the property still hasn’t sold.
Now Virginia Intermont College’s main creditor, Highlands Union Bank, has announced plans to start the foreclosure process on the property.
When V.I. ran out of money and abruptly closed back in May of 2014, its closure left employees without their last few months of paychecks.
V.I.’s Interim President Art Rebrovick told us back in 2014, the paychecks would come once the school sells. But for two and a half years the property has been empty.
Then just a few weeks ago, Bristol, Virginia City leaders said Southwest Virginia-based Bluefield College was looking to open a campus here, but V.I. now says that Bluefield is no longer a viable candidate.
Rebrovick said since the closure, V.I. leaders and the banks have been working together to find a buyer for the campus and pay V.I.’s $10 million debt, but he said now it looks like they’ve fallen short of that goal.
“Very disappointing for the board and the team that’s been working on it for two years, two and a half years. Our whole objective was to take care of the property, and find a buyer that would pay a reasonable price for it which would put the school, put us in a position to pay that debt,” Rebrovick said. “The challenge has been there are a lot of people in interested in the campus but we’ve never found the entity that was in a position and willing to pay what we consider a reasonable price for the campus, that would also allow the school to repay the debt.”
Rebrovick said he is disappointed and said, “We are still trying to put the school in a position to repay everyone. Once they take the step of foreclosure, which they’re certainly in a position to do, it will limit our ability to impact the payments.”
He would not give an exact number on how many employees are still owed money but did say there is money owed to most everyone that was there at the end.
He confirmed at this point, it’s uncertain if the employees and vendors will ever get paid by V.I.
Rebrovick said right now he is hopeful because they are in talks with two different organizations interested in buying the school. He said he hopes to work with the bank to hold off on foreclosure and sell to one of the two organizations.
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