University clearing lots for expansion of campus
For the past 62 years, the home at 825 Bunting Ave. sat sandwiched in the established neighborhood near North Avenue as trees brushed the sky and local children grew up and moved away.
Now, the modest two-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot home may have a chance at a new life as the nearby Colorado Mesa University continues pressing westward.
Homes, the few churches and several businesses in the 45-acre parcel between Cannell Avenue and Seventh Street to the west are included in the university’s plan as properties to acquire. While 21 homes west of Cannell Avenue so far have been purchased as rentals or torn down, the Bunting Avenue home is the first that will be moved and reused instead of being demolished.
“It’s better to recycle it than to have it go to the dump,” said Tony Marsh, a contractor who is having the house moved to his lot at 1901 Grand Ave.
Indeed, the university is encouraging the practice of moving houses instead of having them torn down, said Derek Wagner, director of special projects and strategic initiatives for Colorado Mesa University.
“People can take these houses and find a way to reuse them,” Wagner said. “It’s sort of finding the right diamond in the rough to move.”
After its owner sold the home to the university, Marsh contacted the university about the possibility of moving it. The owner did not want to move the home, Wagner said.
It cost about $9,500 to move this particular home, said Bill Bailey, of Bailey House Movers. There are other considerations for moving homes such as asbestos and a home’s integrity.
Marsh said it will also cost more out-of-pocket money to refurbish the home with new heating, plumbing and siding and bringing it up to code. Yet, because he’ll be doing most of the work himself, relocating the home will cost less than building a home from scratch, Marsh said. Also, the older home will fit nicely in with the other 1950s-era homes in its new Grand Avenue neighborhood, Marsh said.
“A regular house is built within three to four months,” he said. “With this, you can have it up and running a lot quicker.”
Every case is different regarding homes that are sold to the university, Wagner said. Some homeowners, especially those who have remodeled recently, may negotiate to take fixtures, flooring, windows and other items along with them. Other homeowners do not want to recuperate any of a home’s interior. In those cases, Wagner said, groups such as Habitat For Humanity strip homes of all usable items before homes are demolished.
“We make sure that every house is picked completely clean,” Wagner said of homes before they are torn down.
To inquire about homes that may be available for relocation, call the university’s facilities services at 248-1465.