The state Board of Regents approved $375,000 in private funding for the renovation of the Iowa State University president’s home at their meeting in West Des Moines. The renovation plans for the home called the “Knoll,” drew some attention because of the $90,000 estimate for carpeting.
I.S.U. vice president, Warren Madden told the board that the amount and type of the carpeting that’s needed is one of the reason for the high cost. Madden says the main floor of the Knoll is about 4,400 square feet and is primarily used for public events and he says more than five thousand people a year go through the area for events throughout the year. He says the carpet was last replaced 23 years ago.
The plan calls for using a wool carpet that is more expensive than what you’d get at a home improvement store. Madden says wool carpet is the best choice and is the kind of carpet you would find at the state capitol, the Terrace Hill governor’s mansion and other public buildings.
He says the cost estimate includes tearing out the old carpet and installing the new carpet and pad. Madden says the cost of replacing the carpet has drawn the most attention, but he says the bulk of the renovation involves the exterior of the home, such as new paint, gutters and other fixes.
He says some of the windows are over 50 years old and they need to be replaced with more modern energy-efficient windows. He says the remaining repairs are the common things that happen and the time to make the changes is between residents.
Regent Bruce Rastetter of Alden pointed out the money for the renovation is coming from the I.S.U. Foundation and not from taxpayer funds.
“It’s kind of interesting to me that we spend the time and the debate on $90,000 of carpet when we have $14-billion worth of facilities at the universities,” Rastetter said, “And I think we all know, and having been to events, that the residence of the presidents of the university are really important in terms of fundraising, in terms of highlighting student scholarship, in terms of dignitaries and people that come here, that’s one of their first images of the university.”
Madden said the renovation is taking place now as they make the transition to a new president. President Gregory Geoffroy is retiring and the university is searching for his replacement.