NCI in Martinsville

The Baldwin Building on Fayette Street in Martinsville is home to NCI. The state wants to buy the building.

The Building on Baldwin — the home of New College Institute — appears to be close to being sold.

The building is owned by New College Foundation, which rents it to NCI, and the status of a possible deal depends on which side is talking.

“The building is under contract” for transfer of ownership, said Richard Hall, NCI board member. “DGS will announce something at the appropriate time, when the contract gets registered.”

DGS is the Virginia Department of General Services, a state agency that “provides the services that allow agencies to direct their energies toward their core mission without having to worry about the logistics of the operation,” its website states.

New College Foundation President Deborah Kaufman said that the building has “not been sold. It’s in negotiations.”

Specifics about the sale — including a possible price and timetable — were not disclosed.

But VDGS in 2017 had offered the lesser amount of $7.76 million or the direct cost and expenses minus the funding that was received from federal and local government funds and private donations. The foundation responded then with a $10.5 million counteroffer.

As well as renting the building to NCI, the foundation also rents parts of the building, such as meeting rooms and the banquet hall, to the general public for events. When asked if the foundation were still making reservations for building rentals, Kaufman said, “It depends on their date.”

NCI President Karen Jackson had no comment, deferring to the previous conversation with Hall.

A report in the Bulletin from September 2018 listed the rent NCI was paying then as $383,000 a year.

Although NCI occupies most of the space in the building, the Visitors Center and Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. also uses space there.

The 3-story, 53,527-square-foot building sits on 5.09 acres. NCI moved into the newly constructed building in 2014.

New College Institute was founded in 2006 as a collaborative educational model used by colleges and universities in Virginia.

The foundation was established in the same year to support NCI and all of its activities and endeavors, but that relationship in recent years had grown increasingly acrimonious.

Just last year the two were debating who would pay for upgrades to the building and its networks.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

Holly Kozelsky is a writer for the Martinsville Bulletin; contact her at 276-638-8801 ext. 243.

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