The old President’s House on the corner of Shields and Laurel is no longer empty with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity now residing there.
The house, located at 645 S. Shields Street, served originally as the President’s house for many years. After that, it served as the alumni center and then as the location for offices of Conference Services. Conference Services moved out of the house in August and into the newly constructed Alpine building in Laurel Village.
“It made more sense for the Conference Services offices to be located in a Housing and Dining building,” said Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications and sustainability for housing and dining services. “We designed the building to accommodate the staff.”
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity had originally been located in Johnson Hall and shared a space with the Office of the Vice President of Enrollment and Access. With the increasing staff and more diversity training taking place, more space was needed.
“When we came to look at [the house] there was paint coming off and we could see that it had some difficulties,” said Vice President of Diversity Mary Ontiveros. “But we thought it had incredible potential and we thought it would be a great place.”
Currently, the office is in the middle of their move. The first floor needs some renovations in order to make it handicap accessible. The front room of the house will be converted into a training room where the office can hold their diversity training, a space they did not have before the move.
“We asked for some assistance in the funding of those renovations and they’re almost done,” Ontiveros said.
Before Ontiveros and her department decided to take the space, they had been looking at other possibilities like the first floor of Johnson Hall where the Office of Training and Organizational Development now resides. Other departments had put in requests for the house, but felt it needed too many repairs.
“We looked at multiple options for the future of the President’s house,” said Kristi Buffington of facilities management. “There was an option to move the house, but that was cost prohibitive. There was also talk of making it into more parking. But, this department needed the space so it stayed.”
The Office of the Vice President of Diversity will host an open house on Nov. 2o that is open to the Colorado State University community.