By Tim Leeds
The Board of Regents has authorized Montana State University-Northern to spend up to $360,000 for a new home for Chancellor Alex Capdeville.
Tom Reynolds, executive director of the MSU-Northern Foundation, said the university is negotiating for several homes, including the house the chancellor is staying in now.
The highest price being sought by the sellers is $360,000. That house is at 2247 Old Post Road.
The previous chancellor's house was damaged by a water leak while then Chancellor Mike Rao and his family were away for the weekend. An entire wing of the house settled 6 to 12 inches because of the leak.
The insurance company will pay the university $217,000 to repair or replace the house. The amount for a cash settlement was significantly less, Capdeville said today.
A private donor who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged to make up the difference between the insurance and the selling price for the house on Old Post Road, Reynolds said. But that might not be the house purchased, he added.
"A lot of doors were opened (by the regent's approval) as far as what we could do, but the final deal has not been approved yet," he said.
The regents authorized the purchase Friday during their meeting in Dillon.
Another possibility is buying the house the chancellor is living in, which is being held in trust. That deal would be between the trustee and the university, Reynolds said.
The house also could be rebuilt on the old location, although Capdeville said that could be the most expensive option. The estimate to rebuild the damaged wing was $240,000, he said, and adjustors found the rest of the home was unstable.
Reynolds said the biggest issue in the negotiations is finding the best deal for the university, whether it's the house on Old Post Road or something else.
"It's one of several in negotiations we're just in the process of putting together. We've got to look at all the options and make sure it doesn't cost us anything out of state or tuition money," he said.
The chancellor's house is more than just a place to live, Capdeville said.
"This isn't a house for Alex Capdeville. This is a house for the chancellor," he said.
The chancellor's house is used for holding dinners, having the regents over when they are in Havre and hosting foundation events.
Reynolds hopes negotiations can be completed and the chancellor can be in a permanent residence by July 1.