Olian jpg

Renovation cost would fund museum for almost three years

Dr. Judy Olian


By Irish Echo Staff

Quinnipiac University’s Great Hunger Museum is facing a fundraise-yourself-or-die future.

But there are funds in the vicinity.

Quinnipiac is renovating new president Dr. Judy Olian’s “gated estate” for almost $1 million, the New Haven Register is reporting.

The precise renovation price is $900,000 according to the report.

That amount would cover the museum’s running cost, roughly $350,000 annually, for the better part of three years.

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According to the Register report, the town of Hamden issued a building permit for Olian’s house on February 14.

“Plans for the interior renovation of the main house include new major catering-grade equipment in the kitchen, smart lighting and redoing all the finishes throughout the house,” the report stated.

“The building renovations are estimated to cost $900,000, which includes redoing all the lighting with LEDs, and in some areas, occupancy-sensing lights.”

The plans, according to the Register account, call for nearly all the house’s hardware, plumbing, flooring, wallpaper, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, electrical devices, window treatments, doors and wood baseboard to be removed and replaced.

“Whenever we acquire new buildings, it is common practice for us to renovate them to enable their use. Once this renovation is completed, the president’s residence will welcome students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and dignitaries from near and far, for generations to come,” Quinnipiac’s Vice President for Public Affairs, Lynn Bushnell, said in a statement

Quinnipiac, the report added, bought the property for $6.5 million in April, 2018, this after announcing Olian would succeed former president John Lahey.

Its previous owner, Frank Perrotti Jr., died in December, 2016, and the school named its hockey arena and men’s locker room for him.

Purchasing the property was “a critical strategic acquisition for the university, unanimously supported by the Board,” board of trustees Chairman William Weldon said in a statement.

“’The university had been trying to acquire the property since 1990, because we have long believed it is an ideal location for our university presidents to live in, and to welcome current and future members of the Quinnipiac University family.

“’University presidents of today are expected to spend a great deal of their time fundraising and engaging in community outreach so the institution can continue to invest in the high-quality academic programs and services that develop our students. This residence serves that purpose,” Weldon said.

The Register report noted that the president’s home renovation “started after the university announced it would end support for Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and wouldn’t participate in the 30-year tradition of marching in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”