The Oregon State University Board of Trustees Monday discussed plans to construct a new university presidential residence in Corvallis.

The board would like to have the new residence completed by February 2020.

“A presidential residence supports the university’s mission by serving as a destination and meeting place to engage university students, leaders, faculty, staff and community members,” said Steve Clark, Oregon State’s vice president for university relations and marketing. “This presidential residence will not serve just as a home. It also will serve as a valued gathering place for the entire university community, community residents and guests engaged with the university.”

The home could serve as a location for as many as three to four dozen university and presidential events a year.

“We don’t want a mansion,” said board vice chair Darry Callahan, who said he supports the university pursuing such housing. “But we want a house that is presidential; will reflect well on the university; and will last a long time.”

Oregon State has had a history of providing housing for the university president, including the original presidential house purchased in 1921; a house located for many years on Witham Hill; and an OSU-owned house on Brooklane Drive, which was sold in 2011. OSU President Ray presently lives in his own private residence.

Presidential housing is common in higher education. An estimated 70 percent of PAC-12 schools and top universities nationally provide presidential housing.

Early plans for a new presidential residence include a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot home on university-owned land on Northwest Harrison Boulevard, north of the Oregon State Dairy Research Center.

The home is estimated to cost between $2 and $2.4 million. It would be funded entirely from $455,000 in proceeds from the sale of the university’s last presidential house and donor contributions. No tuition or taxpayer money will be used to build the house.

University officials considered purchasing an existing home in Corvallis but could not find a suitable home in close proximity to campus.

No board action is required on moving ahead with building or purchasing presidential housing given that amount falls below the board’s $5 million threshold for approving capital projects. Questions regarding the proposed presidential housing can be directed to Steve Clark, vice president for university relations and marketing at [email protected] or by calling 541-737-3808.