Several years, a task force, proposals to the Kansas Board of Regents and fundraising efforts, site work for the construction of the president’s new house began this semester. The $1.5 million home is expected to be completed in October 2019, according to Shane Shivley, president of the Emporia State Foundation.
All of the funds to build the house were privately raised, through donors, fundraising and several large donations. There were nearly 55 donors for the project, including two gifts totaling a combined $1.2 million.
“The largest gift was the namesake of the home, the Breidenthal family, and that total gift was $750,000,” Shivley said.
They reached their fundraising goal of $1.8 million earlier this year, which includes the construction costs of the residence, as well as a $300,000 endowment.
“An endowment in this case was desired to make sure that the maintenance and the ongoing cost of a facility like this could be taken care of,” Shivley said.
The majority of the remainder of donations came from current and former members of the Foundation Board of Trustees, according to Shivley.
“They not only understood the project, but they understood the investment and they understood the...platform that a facility like this provides for a university president and others to engage the constituents, all the different public relations and community relations, Kansas Board of Regents,” Shivley said.
The decision to construct a new house, rather than renovate the existing structure, came after discussions with the University House Task Force and feedback from two architects, according to Shivley.
The main issue was that even if the house was renovated, it would still have an aging facility at its core, Shivley said.
The old residence, which was built in 1960, was torn down last year since the new residence will be built at the same location, according to ESU’s University House timeline. It will be located at 1522 Highland St., behind the Sauder Alumni Center.
Of the approximately 5500 square footage of the house, 50 percent is designated as public space, according to Shivley.
“That is a large space for entertaining,” Shively said. “You also have public restrooms as a part of that, you have the catering kitchen, storage (and) outdoor patio space.”
Currently, the university president, Allison Garrett, lives in a house purchased by the Foundation in November 2015, according to the timeline.
“That house is not viewed as an expense, as we recognized we needed to provide a home for the incoming president,” Shivley said.
The house, which was appraised at $326,700 in 2016, is located on Lakeview Road. in the northern part of Emporia.
Once the president can move into the new residence, the Lakeview property will be put back onto the market, Shivley said.
The money that they receive from selling the home will go into the Foundation Reserves, which is where the money to purchase the property originally came from, according to Shivley.