Providence Point renovations might displace UM System President Tim Wolfe

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | 8:22 p.m. CDT; updated 1:25 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 26, 2012
MU workers recently discovered damage at Providence Point, what is typically used as the home of the University of Missouri System president. The renovations, which are estimated at $88,000, include the removal of mold and asbestos and bringing the fireplace, electrical system and stairwell banister up to code.

COLUMBIA — When University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe's family comes to Columbia this summer, they will not be living at Providence Point, where the system president usually lives.

During routine work on the house, MU workers uncovered about $88,000 worth of renovations at the home that need immediate attention, said Nikki Krawitz, UM System vice president of finance and administration, in a news release. Wolfe has not yet moved out of Providence Point and will not do so until the UM System arranges temporary housing, Krawitz said. 

These renovations include the removal of mold in several rooms and asbestos in the subflooring and on the walls. When the issues were discovered, the fireplace, electrical system and a stairwell banister also did not comply with code, the release stated. Some of these issues, such as the mold and asbestos, have already been fixed while others are still being worked on, Krawitz said.

The $88,000 estimate also included basic renovations, such as repainting the walls and replacing flooring and light fixtures, among other things, Krawitz said. 

Funds for the improvements will come from grants specifically allocated for improvements at the residence or from earnings from investments, Krawitz said. Tuition revenue and state appropriations will not be used to fund the renovations, according to the release.

Where the Wolfes will go

While renovations are made, the UM System will provide Wolfe with temporary housing, Krawitz said. Currently, the location and cost of that housing is still being discussed. University funds will pay for the housing as part of Wolfe's contract as UM System President, Krawitz said. 

Krawitz said the plan for the temporary housing is to find a place large enough to house Wolfe and his family. She said the family will likely not move back into Providence Point unless the funds for the renovations are raised.

The future of the house

Krawitz said in the release that the building is more than 40 years old, and in addition to these immediate renovations, the building will likely need more extensive work in the next few years.

This additional work will address the building's roof, windows, doors, siding, heating and air conditioning needs, repaving of the drive and parking areas, and updates to the bathrooms and kitchen, she said. The house also needs more furniture and new carpet in the private quarters, she said in the release.

These renovations are currently on hold because they would cost several hundred thousand dollars and the system is trying to be fiscally responsible, Krawitz said.

"That's why we've stopped and we've stepped back," Krawitz said. 

The extra work on the house will be on hold until a decision is made within the next year about what the house will be used for. Options for Providence Point could include: 

  • A place where the UM System President, the MU Chancellor or other university community members can host public events.
  • An event and conference center.
  • A place to house high-ranking visitors.

Krawitz said these possibilities and others are still being discussed. 

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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John Schultz April 26, 2012 | 10:10 a.m.

Slight complaint on the wording in this article and the photo caption, workers did not discover renovations; they discovered damage that needed to be repaired.

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