POULTNEY, Vt. (AP) — As colleges and universities come alive this fall, some campuses sit closed and empty after succumbing to a recent wave of fewer students and financial challenges.
Now communities that long hosted those historic institutions and relied on them for an economic boost — and their very identity — are left to adapt to the vacancy and wondering what comes next.
In Poultney, Vermont, population 3,300, Green Mountain College had occupied a prominent spot at the end of the main street for 185 years. That changed in the spring, when the environmentally-minded liberal arts school closed after commencement, citing a drop in enrollment and financial challenges.
The closure "literally changed the entire town of Poultney," said Mel Kingsley, w