PATCH POLL: Do You Approve of the $7.2M UMd. Mansion Project?
There's really no turning back now, with the University of Maryland mansion already demolished. But what do you think of the project anyway?
Buying, building or renovating a campus president’s home is considered a sure way to ignite controversy, The Washington Post reported over the weekend.
It has at least ignited questions at the University of Maryland. State officials approved the demolition of the president’s home and campus event center and the rebuilding of it for a cool $7.2 million.
What about the athletic teams that could be cut at UMd. because of an athletic budget deficit, Comptroller Peter Franchot asked at the Board of Public Works meeting. It just seems like a bad time for it, he told university officials.
“The big question that I’ve heard is, ‘Why is the money being used there instead of for athletics?’” Staci Armezzani, a senior criminology and criminal justice major told The Post.
It’s a little late to object now. The building’s already demolished, according to university communications officials.
The University of Maryland College Park Foundation, which is funding the project, attempted to answer many concerns with a question-and-answer document that accompanies this post. Here are some key points:
- University funds are not being used for the construction. Private donations are supporting the project.
- The “home” portion of the project, meant for the president to reside, will be 4,000 square feet, about 1,600 fewer than the current mansion. The remaining 10,000 square feet will be used for hosting events and wooing supporters and potential donors to the university. The home portion is expected to cost $2 million, while the event space is expected to cost $5.2 million.
- The construction is expected to be complete by July 2012, and events will be hosted there this coming fall semester.
- There were a lot of problems associated with the building that was taken down: numerous safety, structural, HVAC and accessibility shortcomings. In the Post article, former university president C.D. “Dan” Mote Jr. opens up about several of the issues he and his wife experienced while living there. (President Wallace Loh currently lives off campus.)