Castro family moves in to University House
Fresno State President Joseph Castro, his wife Mary and their youngest son finished moving in to the University House on Saturday.
The 7,300-square-foot, 72-year-old home where the university president is required to live is located off Van Ness Boulevard.
Castro said Saturday was with first time he was able to step foot in his new home.
The family’s belongings came in from the Bay Area, where Castro served as UC San Francisco’s vice chancellor of student academic affairs, on Monday and were placed in their designated rooms in the house on Thursday.
Castro, wearing shorts, and his wife wiped down shelves and unpacked boxes, a contrast from what he said were a busy recent few days.
The house was ready to move in to on Thursday, Castro’s first day of work as the university’s president.
“There was no way I could move in on that day, so today [Saturday] is my first day [where] we could really get into our boxes and things.”
Castro’s daughter, Lauren, was in Fresno to help unpack and get the home ready before heading back to school at Humboldt State for the fall semester, he said.
Most of the furniture that furnished the house was more than 20 years old and was replaced and remodeled. Former Fresno State President John Welty lived in the house for 22 years.
New additions were made to accommodate the Castro family’s youngest son, Jess, said Castro. A fence was built around the backyard pool for safety.
The costs of the home improvements and renovations totaled an estimated $125,000 funded with state and private funds, according to a university release.
“Jess has been learning how to swim,” Castro said. “We didn’t have a pool in the Bay Area and I am looking forward to swimming.”
There were parts of the renovated University House that reminded Castro of his childhood home in Hanford.
“When I first came in and saw these [kitchen knobs]. These are the same handles my grandparents had in their kitchen when I was a kid. It is amazing.” Castro said. “My mother’s parents raised me with my mother.”
Moving back to the Valley, Castro said he was happy to be closer to his family, especially his mother, who lives in Hanford.
“It is hard when you live far from your parents.” Castro said. “I would try to get here once or twice a month and now it is just nice to see each other more and to talk on the phone.”
Castro said he received the keys to the renovated house Saturday morning, and plans to add personal touches to the home.
“There is a pool table in the basement that I am looking forward to and I am going to get a ping-pong table for outside,” Castro said. “I am thinking this front yard would be good for pick up football games.
“This is real life; you hear the baby crying, it’s like a regular house,” Castro said. “I have been in a suit and tie since Thursday so it is kind of nice to be in shorts.”
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