July 11, 2013 in Idaho

Univ. of Idaho proposing new mansion for president

Associated Press
 

MOSCOW, Idaho — The University of Idaho wants to demolish the school president’s residence and build a new one to help attract a new leader.

The Moscow school will seek approval from the Idaho State Board of Education next month to start planning and design for a new presidential mansion.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports university officials said they want to build a new home costing up to $2 million in the same location by the end of next summer.

The presidential search committee plans on working with the UI Foundation to help fund it.

The existing house was completed in 1967 for $121,900.

Brian Johnson, the school’s assistant vice president of facilities, discussed the plans during a meeting between officials from the UI and the city of Moscow on Wednesday. The university will meet with the Board of Education on Aug. 14-15.

Johnson said the focus will be on building a home that’s better suited for its “dual nature” as a place for events as well as a living space. If a president is hired during this school year, the university will seek their input, he said.

“If they choose to move in a different direction, we’ll move in a different direction,” Johnson said.

Representatives from the university had talked about constructing a new house for the future president during the June Board of Education meeting, and the board was supportive, said Marilyn Whitney, board communications officer.

In April, the presidential search committee seeking a replacement for former President Duane Nellis discussed renovating the home due to its age, condition and design. Committee members said that while the house’s public areas were adequate, the living quarters were not. After consulting with an architect, they deemed renovation would not be feasible or cost-effective.

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