raj bhakta

Raj Bhakta, Indian American founder of WhistlePig Whiskey, is poised to purchase the campus of Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. (Facebook photo)

POULTNEY, Vt. – A Vermont businessman is poised to purchase the campus of Green Mountain College in Poultney, which closed in the spring of 2019.

Raj Bhakta, the founder of Shoreham-based WhistlePig Whiskey, said he plans to buy the campus for more than $4.5 million, plus fees.

Vermont Public Radio reports the sale won't be finalized until this month.

Bhakta said he hopes to resurrect a new kind of school that will benefit students and the local community.

“It'll probably be a work college,” he said. “You know, I've got a very, very strong track record of taking things that were going down the tube and making them roar back to life.''

He said the first thing he'll do is look at where the needs are in education.

“We know that we have a need for trades in Vermont, that in America people really aren't being trained to do anything anymore,'' Bhakta said.

The 155-acre campus includes 26 buildings with 500,000 square feet and its own biomass plant. Bhakta says he hasn't yet finalized plans for the campus, but it will probably be what he calls “a work college.''

In 2010, Bhakta founded the Shoreham-based WhistlePig Whiskey. He sold his stake in the distillery last year for an undisclosed price.

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