UCA trustees discuss president's home

Options were discussed for the future of the president’s home at an informal meeting of the Board of Trustees of the University of Central Arkansas on Saturday at The Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs.


No votes were taken on any of the matters considered by the trustees.


The board heard each vice president or department head deliver an overview of goals or desired accomplishments in the next year, according to Jeff Pitchford, vice-president of university and government relations.


In addition, Patsy Minton-Newton, chairman of the President’s Residence Advisory Committee, distributed a progress report from the committee. The group has been meeting since it was charged by trustees with the project in February.


She presented a list of options for discussion about the home, built in 1937, that has undergone extensive renovation to address mold, lead and safety issues. The house is on Donaghey street, a busy thoroughfare that borders the UCA campus.


In addition to providing a home for the school’s president and family, the house is often used for entertaining guests and other public gatherings.


The examples of options in the committee’s report were


• To renovate the existing house with an option of adding two-bedroom guest house: $145,000 for private portions of existing house; $30,000 for public portions; $184,000 optional two-bedroom guest house.


• To build a new president’s house attached to the existing garage: $465,000 to $540,000.


• To build a new master bedroom suite between the existing home and garage: $230,000 for private areas; $30,000 to public areas; $16,000 to convert existing barn to storage for Aramark.


Cromwell Architects of Little Rock provided drawings of those examples.


A fourth option would be to purchase an existing home. Examples of “executive homes” available in Conway, as provided by a Realtor, were listed from $700,000 to $800,000.


Another option would be to pay a living stipend for the president to provide his own residence. The maximum stipend in Arkansas is $18,000 of state dollars. The existing home would be re-purposed for “use by the broader UCA community.”


In the hand-out to the trustees, Minton-Newton said that the report is a work in progress and a final report will be delivered “as soon as we can complete the remainder of the details.”


Trustees arrived at the resort on Friday night, and the informal meeting began at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, ending at 3:30 p.m.

 

Trustees present were Scott Roussel, chairman; Bobby Reynolds, vice chairman; Kay Hinkle, Victor Green and Rush Harding III.
Trustees Randy Sims and Dr. Harold Chakales were not present.


No agenda has been set for the next regular meeting, Aug. 26, Pitchford said.


(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)

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