$550,000 renovation of president’s home set to begin

Kaitlin Walker

Eastcliff mansion

The home of the University’s president sits on the east bank of the Mississippi River.

While the Board of Regents discusses tuition increases, wage freezes and layoffs, the University of Minnesota will spend $550,000 on renovations to the president’s Eastcliff mansion.

According to KSTP, the budget for the renovations to Eastcliff includes $215,000 from University funds.

University spokesman Dan Wolter told MPR that $335,000 of the cost is covered by private donations — the Brooks family, which donated Eastcliff to the University in 1958, made a large contribution for the renovations.

The plans include fixing the pool and summerhouse and adding a private kitchen to the second floor.

These are the first major renovations to the mansion since the 1990s, according to the Minnesota Daily.

On Friday, the Board will discuss budget plans, including how to cover an expected $130 million budget shortfall.

University officials told KSTP that the renovations come at “an unfortunate time,” but that they are needed, and easiest to do after the old president moves out and before the new president moves in.

Eric Kaler will likely move into Eastcliff several months after he takes over as president on July 1.

The University holds many fundraisers and events at the mansion, some of which do not actually involve the president.

The kitchen on the second floor is designed to give the president and his family privacy when events are being catered from the kitchen on the main floor.