Mansion causes mixed feelings
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The Albert E. Warren Reception Center, also known as the President’s mansion, is currently under renovation at the cost of $1.75 million.
$1.5 million of the funds are coming from ADR, which is the combination of profits from Associated Students, Regional and Continuing Education, Research Foundation Contracts and Grants.
Until 1993, the building was used as a residence to house the president of the university. But since then, it has not been upgraded enough to be considered habitable by the most recent presidents.
Although some believe the mansion requires and deserves the work, some also believe that $1.75 million on an old home on the edge of campus is money ill-spent.
The mansion is one of many buildings on campus that needs substantial work, but the difference between it and the others is that it is not used by students. Currently, the mansion is occasionally used for events that usually involve the administration or alumni.
Many students believe that the money would be better spent revamping buildings like Glenn or Siskiyou. Buildings students actually use.
Students are left wondering why there is room in the budget for the mansion using money from our spending at AS establishments on campus, yet library hours for students are being cut.
At the least, students have expressed that they would like to have some form of access to the building. Such as possibly allowing students to request to use it for award ceremonies or other official events.
On the contrary, it can be argued that preserving our history on campus is important. The mansion was built in 1922 and designed by Julia Morgan, the first licensed architect in California and designer of Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
In addition, having a more upscale event center on campus can be a money-maker on its own. It will allow for more events that can cater to alumni or donors who make financial contributions to the school.
In the mansions current state, it has a barely functional kitchen, which is not ideal for events that serve a meal. Also, the lighting for evening events is dismal and the overall feel is worn-out.
Ultimately, $1.75 million seems like a lot of money. But we believe as long as the building is used to its fullest and doesn’t sit idle like it does now, it could be worth it. Although there may be better things to spend campus funds on, it is also important to honor the campus’s history and have a nice event space.