When he moves into his new home next month, North Central College President Troy Hammond will shave about a mile from his already walkable commute.
North Central recently purchased the 5,300-square-foot, two-story house adjacent the campus at 409 E. Chicago Ave. to replace the Edward Everett Rall House as home to the college president. Hammond and his family are expected to make the milelong move from their current Naperville home in May.
Board Chairman Steve Hoeft said the panel began evaluating the renovation needs of the Rall House in February 2012. The house has served as home for the school's five most recent presidents: Edward Everett Rall, after whom it is named, C. Harve Geiger, Arlo L. Schilling, Gael D. Swing and Harold R. Wilde.
"The house, originally built before 1917, has not had significant renovations in nearly 40 years, and received only cosmetic upgrades in 1991 when President Harold Wilde and his family began living in the house," Hoeft said.
Hoeft said the evaluation revealed the Rall House, which is near the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Brainard Street, would require major renovations and possibly a new addition to serve the long-term needs of the college.
"In September, the board contacted the current owners of the house at 409 E. Chicago Ave., which was for sale, to discuss a potential purchase," Hoeft said.
Officials at the privately funded college declined to discuss the purchase price of the home, but real estate documents show it was removed from the market on Feb. 2 with an asking price of $1.9 million.
A statement on the college's website indicates the college "received several significant gifts, including from the sellers," to purchase the house.
The college will keep the Rall house as a "strategic location at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Brainard Street," though there are no immediate plans for the property.