UNIVERSITY PARK — No one has lived in the 9,000 square-foot, Tudor-style home for Penn State’s president since Graham Spanier moved out after he was fired late last year.
Since then, employees have rung Old Main, asking if they can tour the stately house that’s down a long driveway off Park Avenue while it’s vacant. Next week, they’ll get their chance.
The university is holding an employee-only open house at the home from noon to 6 p.m. July 27. The public is not invited and employees are asked not to bring guests.
“I’m sure that many who work at Penn State have not had an occasion to visit the residence and may be curious about it now that it is vacant and used for various university events,” said spokeswoman Lisa Powers.
She said President Rodney Erickson “thought it would be a good idea to have an open house and invite the employees. The response has been incredible.”
The house, built in 1928, sits on 76 acres amid trees. The property is next to the College Heights neighborhood.
Spanier, fired in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, was the only president to take up residence there, arriving here in 1995. When Erickson was named president, he opted not to move into the home, instead staying at his residence in Ferguson Township.
Historically, Penn State presidents had lived on campus in the University House, which is now attached to the Hintz Family Alumni Center. But student protests led to the university buying a property in 1970 that’s off-campus in Harris Township where three presidents lived for the next 25 years.
In 1995, the university sold that property, on Kennard Road, for $750,000 and renovated the Schreyer House, which it had bought in 1988, from the family of alumnus Howard Walton Mitchell, a judge in Allegheny County who used it as a summer residence.
The house is now named after former board of trustees chairman Bill Schreyer and his wife, Joan, who donated $1 million for the renovations.
For the open house, employees can either walk to Schreyer House or take on-campus shuttles, but can’t park there.
The university asks employees to RSVP for the open house by Monday by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with “Open House” in the subject line and specifying if they will use the shuttle service.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT