December 27, 2013
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
CONTACT: Lori Barrett
556 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts confirms recent negotiations with
Pi Beta Phi to purchase its historic Gatlinburg campus
(GATLINBURG, TN) – Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts confirmed today that it has been in active negotiations with Pi Beta Phi to purchase its campus and continue its hundred year legacy of arts and education in Gatlinburg.
Arrowmont’s Gatlinburg campus is one of few Gatlinburg properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon after being named to the list in 2008, Nancy Tinker, Senior Program Officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation commented, “The story of Arrowmont and Pi Beta Phi are an intrinsic part of Gatlinburg’s history, with their successful collaboration having helped Arrowmont achieve distinction as one of the finest arts and crafts centers in the South.”
In August, 2010, the Arrowmont Board of Governors enthusiastically announced its intention to remain on the Gatlinburg campus, which it has occupied since its founding in 1912 as the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. The decision followed an announcement in 2008 by Pi Beta Phi of plans to sell the campus to a commercial developer. Although the proposed sale did not materialize, Arrowmont studied a number of alternative locations in case the Fraternity renewed its intention to sell the campus for commercial development. In the wake of an outpouring of support from the community and a decision by the Board of Governors, the school reaffirmed its intention to stay in Sevier County and expressed its desire to purchase the property on which it has operated.
In July of this year, the Board of Governors made a formal offer to purchase the property based on a certified appraisal of the land. Pi Beta Phi did not provide a counter offer until November of this year. At that time, Pi Beta Phi informed the school of its willingness to sell, but at a higher price than the appraised value obtained by Arrowmont. The terms offered were not feasible for a non‐profit educational institution like Arrowmont.
The Board of Governors has worked diligently and in good faith to try to negotiate with Pi Beta Phi in hopes of reaching an agreement on the purchase of its campus from the founding organization. Pi Beta Phi has extended the lease for the property through 2015, ensuring that all scheduled workshops and symposia will continue uninterrupted and unaffected through that time.
Bill May, Executive Director of Arrowmont commented, “2011 and 2012 have been outstanding years for the school in terms of programming, enrollment, and community involvement. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Artists‐In‐
For more information call 865‐436‐5860 or visit www.arrowmont.org.
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Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a nationally renowned arts center that offers an artist in residence program and one week, two week and weekend workshops in ceramics, fiber, metals, glass, painting, mixed media, and woodworking for the beginner to advanced artist. Students learn in professionally equipped studios on a 14‐acre residential campus in Gatlinburg, TN. Five galleries, an art supply store, and artist resource center are open to visitors year round. For more information about Arrowmont’s programs, visit www.arrowmont.org or call (865) 436‐5860.