Local News

UNC chancellor's house gets $900K makeover

Posted October 17, 2008 4:38 p.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2008 8:07 p.m. EDT

— The new chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will get to move into a university-owned home – newly renovated at the cost of nearly $1 million.

Holden Thorp will be the third chancellor to live at Quail Hill, a 7,500-square-foot home tucked away on 20 wooded acres in Chapel Hill.

Built in the 1960s, Quail Hill became the chancellor's home in 1995. Renovations preceded the arrival of the two other chancellors to live there; those projects cost $325,000 and $219,000 each.

So far, renovations ahead of Thorp's arrival have reached $903,000.

That figure caught some UNC alumni by surprise.

"Whew, that's steep," said Ann Mikan, a realtor and 1963 UNC grad. "I would get a new one."

"It does sound like a lot, but just giving me that number, it's hard for me to tell you if it's too much or too little without some facts around it," 1998 UNC grad Wesley Pulisic said.

Vice-chancellor Carolyn Elfand said the renovations included a lot of structural work – replacing heating, ventilation and air-condition systems; upgrading the electrical system; making changes to meet the fire code; and improving handicap accessibility.

The kitchen was also enlarged and gained new cabinets, appliances and a built-in coffee maker.

"I think the changes are very necessary and probably overdue," Elfand said. "The university holds a lot of functions in the home."

State funds did not go to pay for the renovations, Elfand said. Instead, the money came from the university's endowment fund.

Use of the university-owned residence is part of Thorp's total compensation package, which includes a $420,000 salary.