UC system buys $6.5 million Berkeley home for its president

The UC program bought a $6.5 million house in Berkeley to provide as the official dwelling quarters for its president, Michael Drake, as properly as a house for university situations, as initially documented by Berkeleyside.

The obtain was financed by the university’s Searles Fund, a personal donation fund for the college, that pays for expenditures this sort of as presidential housing that are not protected by point out cash, in accordance to UC Place of work of the President spokesperson Stett Holbrook. The residence, which was initially bought in 1971 by the college and bought 20 yrs later on, was designed by renowned architect and Berkeley alumnus Julia Morgan.

“The long-time period expense returns the Berkeley landmark to the University, offering a number of employs that advantage the college and will serve as the official home for University presidents,” Holbrook explained in an e mail.

However, some college students expressed disappointment that these resources are being made use of to repurchase a home for the president, rather than attend to the needs of college students.

Campus freshman Virginia Sunshine stated she thinks the dollars utilised to pay back for the home should be allotted toward far more prevalent troubles at Berkeley.

“They could use that revenue to produce new housing units to combat the housing disaster,” Sunshine mentioned. “Alternatively, the revenue could be utilised to improve the mental health Tang products and services.”

In accordance to campus freshman Niko Tsukino, however she appreciated that the cash remaining applied to pay out for the home is not coming from students’ tuition, there are superior factors the revenue could be made use of for.

Campus freshman Ashley Zheng also expressed comparable sentiments.

“Why would the UC invest $6.5 million on a dwelling, when it could be employed for their students?” Zheng reported.

Blake House in Kensington, the previous UC presidential home, has been uninhabitable for over a ten years, and renovation fees are believed at $10-12 million because of “extensive deferred servicing and seismic challenges,” according to Holbrook. The household will eventually be marketed with proceeds going to UC Berkeley’s School of Environmental Design, in accordance to the UC website.

The Morgan dwelling is viewed as by the college to be an “architectural gem,” the UC website states.

According to the UC internet site, Morgan is a historic figure in American architecture, and was 1 of the very first women of all ages to graduate from what was then UC Berkeley’s Faculty of Civil Engineering. She intended several structures on campus, like the Hearst Memorial Mining Setting up and Hearst Greek Theatre.

Call Olivia Branan at [email protected], and stick to her on Twitter at @BrananOlivia.

A past variation of this report failed to attribute Berkeleyside as initially breaking this story.

Barbara G. Arnold

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