Home Money The House on Conventry Lane: what happened, and what’s next?

The House on Conventry Lane: what happened, and what’s next?

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When Ohio University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen Golding announced that he would ask that the Board of Trustees not buy the new McDavis house on 31 Coventry Lane, there was some debate as to what caused this reversed decision.

Golding announced via a press release that he had received word that the owner of 31 Coventry Lane, local real estate broker and OU donor John Wharton, gave “unsolicited verbal communication” to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The communication involved Wharton making an unscheduled visit to the office of Director of Athletics Jim Schaus’ office, where he said he would continue paying the rest of a $100,000 donation to the Walter Fieldhouse as well as give a new monetary gift for the Sook Academic Center, said OU’s General Counsel John Biancamano in a conference call.

“After consultation with the General Counsel, I believe that all those involved with the verbal communication concerning the gift in question acted in good faith and without any improper intent,” Golding said in the press release. “I also know the communication about a possible gift did not influence the university officials who were directly involved with negotiating the terms of the lease because it was not known to them or me until after the agreement had been signed. Nevertheless, this communication did occur.”

When asked on whether or not the recent student and faculty criticism to the decision to move President Roderick McDavis and First Lady Deborah McDavis out of the bat-infested 29 Park Place and into the Coventry Lane house, Senior Director of Communication Services Bethany Venable said that the pressure did not influence the decision to not purchase the Coventry Lane house.

“Mr. Golding’s decision to not recommend exercising the purchase option came from an intent to avoid any appearance of impropriety relating to Mr. Wharton’s verbal indications of a gift to Ohio University,” Venable said in an email.

However, the Ohio University Student Union has boisterously claimed that the student efforts against the move into the Coventry Lane house, most notably the Bat Rally, led to the university’s decision to not purchase the house.

“Thanks to the collective action of students, faculty, and staff at Ohio University – The University will not request the purchase of the 1.2 million dollar mansion for the University President,” the Student Union said in a Facebook post. “The ‘Bat Rally’ and subsequent attention fulfilled the intent to raise awareness, garner support, and make our voices heard!”

The BARE Student Senate ticket has also used the decision for campaign advertising with a chalk advertisement in front of 29 Park Place stating “$1.2 mil[sic] McMansion WAS SHUT DOWN VOTE BARE”

While the Coventry Lane house will not be purchased, the McDavis’ will still reside in the house until assessment of the Park Place house for the Ohio Master Plan is complete. The lease on the Coventry Lane house runs until June 30, 2017.

“Ohio University is performing an assessment on 29 Park Place, as well as conducting a Comprehensive Master Plan to determine the highest and best use of buildings on campus, including 29 Park Place,” Venable said. “The results of these evaluations and discussions will be used to inform the Board of Trustees as to the future residence of OHIO presidents. The length of the lease in place allows time for those discussions and decisions to take place.”

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One Comment

  1. samrina

    January 15, 2017 at 2:04 AM

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    Just visit http://www.localstudentroom.co.uk


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