Cal Poly top spender in presidential home renovations

May 29, 2012

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has spent more money on presidential residence renovations than any other California State University campus in the past decade. Since 2004, Cal Poly has doled out $831,000 remodeling its top residence, and 99 percent of that came from state funding. [BayCitizen]

In total, CSU campuses have spent more than $2 million over the past 10 years renovating eight university-owned presidential residences. At least half of the spending came from state funding sources, and the figure does not include annual maintenance and repairs, the Bay Citizen said.

When Cal Poly welcomed President Jeffrey Armstrong  in 2011, the campus shelled out $230,000 on lighting replacements, kitchen upgrades, new wood flooring and more for its University House. That was in addition to the $200,000 in renovations the university had completed in 2010.

The $430,000 spent over two years was also about $100,000 more than was previously reported in the Tribune.

“There were some people who felt like maybe it costs that much to refurbish,” said Glen Thorncroft, a mechanical engineering professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and president of the campus faculty union chapter to the Bay Citizen. “The problem is, it’s just so disjointed from the budget realities that it’s hard to fathom that we’re spending these kinds of monies on things that aren’t paying for classes for our students or going to hire faculty to teach the classes.”

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s former President, Warren J. Baker, moved out of the presidential residence in 2004, when he opted instead for the $60,000 annual housing allowance afforded by the CSU.

Cal Poly then transformed the University House into an event center and spent $384,000 from 2004 to 2008 on renovation projects.

After the 2010 upgrades, the university turned the house back into a residence for Armstrong, using about $6,200 in foundation funds to pay an interior designer.

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La dolce vita.

This is one of many reasons why I’m not big on the proposed tax on the ballet this Nov. We give politicians more and more money and they just keep spending it like drunken sailers.