BOZEMAN (AP) — Montana State University plans to tear down about 55 so-called "Monopoly houses" that for decades housed students.
"They're just wearing out," said Tom Stump, MSU director of auxiliary services, "The majority are already vacant. The floor joists are failing. They have asbestos siding, asbestos in the floors."
The houses are scheduled to be torn down this summer as part of a $9.1 million project to save energy, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/yJZgMl). The school has been paying to heat the houses built in the 1950s so water pipes don't freeze even though all but 12 are vacant.
Once the houses are removed the land will be maintained as a grassy area. The school eventually plans to build new academic buildings in the area.
The plan to save energy includes $2.6 million to install energy-efficient lights in the Field House, North and South Hedges, Roskie, Johnstone and Hannon Hall dorms.
The school also plans to spend $3.4 million to install double-paned windows in three dorms, replacing windows and light fixtures that are more than 60 years old.
"I'm really excited about this project," Stump said. "Ultimately, we're going to have a better living environment for students in the residence halls."
He said neither state taxpayers' money nor student tuition money will be used. He said $4.5 million will come from deferred maintenance funds, and money saved from room and board fees charged to students.
He said the remaining money will be borrowed from the state Board of Investments, to be paid back over 15 years using money saved on energy bills.