University may request delay in U-House funds deadline

With just one month left before a university-imposed cut-off date to raise the $7.2 million in private money necessary to rebuild the chancellor’s residence, campus administrators may ask the UC Office of the President for an extension, according to Vice Chancellor of External Affairs James M. Langley.

The fundraising deadline for rebuilding the University House is approaching and members of the building advisory committee that got together to oversee the project are still actively raising funds, according to Langley.

“I have found it to be the case that these projects usually go down to the wire,” Langley said. “The best-case scenario would be to have a single donor pay for the whole project.”

The committee is currently in talks with potential contributors, according to Langley.

“There is no science to it,” Langley said. “We are approaching private donors and addressing their concerns, but a project like this usually takes up to 18 months, and we have had a considerably shorter time period. We might ask UCOP for a brief extension.”

For the first time, UCOP has also recently said that it may provide a portion of the necessary funds if the university falls short of its goal.

“The vast majority of the funding is expected to come from private donors,” UCOP Communications Director Brad Hayward said. “UCOP will provide a small portion. We were talking about $1 million, but we have not committed to a set amount.”

In an interview with the Guardian last week, UC President Robert C. Dynes had said that the office would rely solely on the money raised by the campus.

“I’ve said ‘no’ so far,” Dynes said, when asked whether UCOP would provide any money for the project. “That’s local and they’ve got to raise that money locally.”

A report, commissioned by Dynes soon after he became UC president, and released last summer, found the house uninhabitable.

“There was an anthropological and forensic report commissioned by UCOP,” anthropology professor and committee member Donald Tuzin said. “There were serious seismic problems. The place was a dump. No one wanted to sleep there.”

A private residence for the chancellor, University House also serves as a venue for university events.

After the report, UCOP appointed a committee to look into possible options for reconstructing the building.

“We decided to demolish the existing house and rebuild a new house on the same property,” Tuzin said. “UCOP accepted the proposal.”

For the duration of the project, which could take up to two years to complete, the university will rent a $6,500-per-month residence for Chancellor Marye Anne Fox.

If there are not enough private funds raised by the end of the month, the committee will explore