El Dorado Ranch Property Under Repair
Long-Deferred Repairs Prompted by 60 Years of Wear & Tear
April 28, 2012 :: No. 164
Students, faculty and staff members gathering at El Dorado Ranch for graduation-related dinners and receptions during commencement season will see changes under way at the university residence located about four miles west of campus.
Workers are tackling long-needed deferred maintenance at the two-story house that serves as home to the university president and as a reception facility for CSUF gatherings of donors, alumni, community and campus members. The house was built in 1919 and remodeled in 1951.
The 4.5-acre property was donated to the California State University in 1989 by the Chapman family to both serve as the residence for the Fullerton campus president and to further the university's mission by "improving the quality of life and cause of higher education in Orange County."
When former CSUF President Milton A. Gordon and his wife moved out early this year after spending more than two decades in the home, repair work began. This includes replacing leaking sewer piping, replacing and grounding unsafe wiring, patching the leaking deck, mold removal, lead paint and asbestos remediation, modernizing restrooms for heavy use and upgrading the security systems.
In addition, the kitchen is being brought up to 21st-century standards to better serve university events. That effort involves replacing deteriorated cabinets and built-in appliances that were state of the art for 1951; relocating the washing machine and hookups now in the kitchen to an upstairs utility room constructed for that purpose; removing and reframing three walls; plumbing, electrical, drainage and waste system upgrading; relocating utility lines; plus drywall, patching and painting.
Non-state funds are being used to cover the $300,000 cost of the work, authorized by CSUF Interim President Willie J. Hagan, who did not take up residence at El Dorado, due to the temporary nature of his appointment. Hagan's decision provided the university with the first unimpeded access to the property in 22 years, and the opportunity to undertake the long-deferred maintenance.
The work is expected to be completed by July 1—the start of the 2012-13 academic year and a few weeks after Mildred García, president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, takes the helm at CSUF.
(Editor's Note: For a more complete account of the history of El Dorado Ranch and the university's stewardship of this historic property, read "A Campus Backgrounder: Repairs Under Way At El Dorado Ranch.")