LINWOOD — As students attend classes at Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus for the first time next fall, visiting professors and dignitaries may have a rehabilitated home to relax in during their stay.
A three-bedroom ranch house, which the university has maintained since the state purchased it in 1970, sits on almost 2 acres along Shore Road bordering the Linwood Country Club.
The state bought the house to serve as the residence for Stockton’s president. The first three Stockton presidents lived there: Richard E. Bjork, Peter M. Mitchell and Vera King Farris.
University President Harvey Kesselman doesn’t live there, nor did his predecessor, Herman J. Saatkamp Jr.
Earlier this year, Stockton negotiated with the State House Commission to buy the house for $150,000, said Michael Angulo, Stockton’s interim vice president for administration and finance.
“The discount price reflects the many years (decades) that Stockton cared for the property and the substantial improvements/maintenance Stockton has invested in the property over that time,” Angulo said.
The house needs roof work and other renovations the university did not want to pay for without holding title to the property, said Angulo and Donald Hudson, Stockton’s vice president of facilities and operations.
“I don’t know if it (the roof) can make it through another winter,” Angulo said.
During the 47 years Stockton has looked after the property, the school has overseen at least three additions to create 2,938 square feet of living space, a roof replacement and kitchen renovations, Angulo said.
Charles E. Ingram, Stockton’s vice president of finance who now lives in the house, is leaving the university.
Hudson said he expects a new roof could cost $25,000 to $30,000.
Any time a house is being rebuilt or maintained, the owner has to look at the exterior envelope, such as windows, garage door, front door, caulking, ceilings and gutters — and all that adds up, Hudson said.
“We could be on the hook for $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 to properly maintain this over the next couple of years,” Hudson said.
It’s an advantage to have the Linwood house, which be used for visiting professors and their families, Hudson said.
“It’s important that we treat our special guests with that type of honor,” Hudson said. “It saves us money. If we had to put them up in a hotel for an extended stay somewhere, it would cost a lot more than it costs to maintain this property.”