How much swankier? The new president's residence is Gene and Margie Phillips "old" house at 1022 NE 9th Street. The Phillips were trying to sell the house online at MadisonSDHouseforSale.com for several months. That website has gone poof, but a cached version from MSN offers the following description:
This 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home was designed by Bob Visser, a Sioux Falls, SD architect. Built in 2001, it has 4050 sq. ft. of living space and 1300 sq. ft. of storage plus a heated garage with 3 stalls / shop or 4 stalls.
Geothermal heats and cools the house at minimal cost. There are 2 fireplaces that assure comfort year round. The landscaped yard has 3 patio areas surrounded by red-leaf birch, maple, evergreen trees and perennials; plus guest parking.
NEW PRICING - $399,000
Creative Financing Available
Creative financing indeed. As Sand reports, the DSU Foundation is buying the house from the Phillipses, "long-time university supporters" who have promised some "substantial gifts to the Foundation." It sounds like a win-win for all parties concerned. The Phillipses unload an expensive property that apparently wasn't moving in the Madison market (Madison's McMansion crowd must all be moving to the lake). The DSU Foundation makes some donors happy and gets assurances of future donations. DSU gets to house its president in a bigger house with better handicap accessibility and infrastructure... not to mention more room to host fundraising events.
A little history on the Girton House: The DSU Historical Archives note that the state bought the Girton House in 1921 as overflow dorm space for Eastern State Normal School for $8,417.80. The Board of Regents tried to sell it during the Depression, but the best offer they got was $1,750. The Regents said, "No deal!" Eastern State Teachers College (oh, how DSU's name does change!) thus moved President V.A. Lowry into the Girton House in 1935. So perhaps we again have a connection between a weak housing market and a change in the president's residence.
The Girton House won't face the bulldozer: evidently DSU plans to preserve it. Perhaps it will again serve as overflow dorm housing. And maybe, just maybe, the Girton House will provide some more spare rooms for hosting Mundt Debate!