Many have come to view Lake Champlain as the cultural and economic hub of the region.  It’s a place the Community Sailing Center calls home.  And members are excited for their new digs. 

This group is proud to be a part of the renaissance along Burlington’s Waterfront.

From a small garage space to this, more than 20,000 square feet.  The Community Sailing Center has come a long way since its inception, and it’s got a bright future ahead. 

“Lake Champlain really defines much of this community.  It’s our economic and cultural engine.  It’s got remarkable history, it’s been a remarkable asset,” explained Mark Naud, executive director of the organization.

Running along Vermont’s western border, Lake Champlain spans nearly 500 square miles. 

“This was a really efficient use of the space, use of the site, addressing all of the change that’s been happening on the waterfront, with the skate park, with what will happen to Moran, and all of the work the City of Burlington and Mayor Weinberger have done in transforming the waterfront,” said Naud. 

On Wednesday, he showed off the progress of the new facility.  The modern, net-zero, wear house-like structure will feature classrooms, indoor storage space, and plenty of other things, which the current location doesn’t have. 

“The space and capabilities to have fully functioning areas.  We’ll have bathrooms, we’ll have windows, flushing toilets are a remarkable asset,” joked Naud.

The $5.7 million project has been a multi-decade dream.  Established in 1994, Naud says the organization has come a long way from the handful of kids it served the first year.  More than 65 hundred people came through last year.

And while there’s more work on the way, Naud can already see the potential and opportunities this new facility will provide. 

“It’ll be realizing a lot of dreams, a lot of passions from a lot of people over a long time.  A lot of commitment of time and energy, and hope and promise and dreams of future leaders, future lake-lovers, and future stewards of this amazing place we get to call home,” he said.

The Community Sailing Center will operate out of its current location for much of the summer. The organization hopes to have its new building to a point soon, where the public can come check it out.