Weltys move out of University House; preparations for new president begin

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Weltys move out of University House; preparations for new president begin

Dr. John D. Welty and his wife, Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty, will move out of University House tomorrow, June 26. The move takes place a month before he retires, so that scheduled repairs and minor renovations can begin to prepare the home for Fresno State’s next president and his family.

Work is needed to bring state-owned University House and grounds up to safety and building code standards as required by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), to address deferred maintenance issues and refresh the home for Dr. Joseph I. Castro and his family.

The 72- year-old home on the northwest corner of Van Ness and Holland Avenues, is the official residence of the president of Fresno State and has more than 7,000 visitors each year for a variety of campus and community functions. The president of Fresno State is required to live in the house.

The California State University trustees, on behalf of the state, accepted the 7,300-square-foot house on 1.3 acres as a gift to Fresno State from the McMahan family in 1965 for use by its president to assist in the performance of duties.

President Welty and Dr. Brown-Welty will move into a Campus Pointe apartment through July 31 and then relocate to their home in Southern California.

“Just as with private residences, there are ongoing maintenance needs such as new carpet, new paint, etc., at University House after a long-standing resident,” said Cynthia Teniente-Matson, vice president for administration and chief financial officer at Fresno State. “In fact, the floor coverings have not been changed or the interior of the home painted in the 22 years that Dr. Welty has lived in University House.  It is the responsibility of the state to properly maintain the property.”

Also, Teniente-Matson said, “There are some specific elements of the project that we want to consider as we welcome a new family into the home, especially one with a young child.”

The total estimated cost of the home and grounds improvements is approximately $125,000 and will be funded with state funds for campus property repairs, and non-state (private) funds. Projects and approximate costs include:

Safety and ADA improvements                          $49,000
Painting, flooring and window coverings              $49,000
Deferred maintenance and minor repairs             $27,000

The university is securing several in-kind contributions to offset some of the expenses and much of the work is being done by university personnel.