The area off Circle Drive where Wright State’s Rockafield House once stood. SARAH CAVENDER/STAFF

Wright State’s former presidential house has been demolished

Demolition apparently happened in recent days

The house that once served as a residence for the president of Wright State University and his or her family is no more.

The building that once stood at the end of the Circle Drive cul-de-sac on the Wright State campus — sometimes called Rockafield House — was demolished in recent days.

Former Wright State President Cheryl Schrader was the school’s first president never to have resided on campus. (Today, Sue Edwards is president of Wright State.)

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Former president David Hopkins — Schrader’s immediate predecessor in the office — lived in the university’s Rockafield House for about a year before he moved out.

Before the recent demolition, Rockafield House served as a residence to Wright State presidents.
Photo: SARAH CAVENDER/STAFF

Schrader received an annual housing stipend of $36,000, which was in line with what most other university presidents received, the Dayton Daily News reported in December 2017. It was something Wright State trustees considered a necessity to compete with other colleges, Doug Fecher, then-chairman of the WSU board of trustees, told the newspaper at the time.

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At that time, the presidents of Miami and Ohio State universities were the only two area public college leaders who still lived in houses owned by their institutions.

A spokesman for Wright State said Sunday the house suffered significant damage from surrounding trees a few years ago, when the building served as an alumni house. Since then, the building has remained unoccupied, the spokesman said.

The demolition happened over several days last week, the spokesman said. 

Repairing and bringing the building up to code would have cost more than demolishing the structure, Walt Branson, WSU’s vice president for finance and operations and chief business officer, told the Dayton Daily News in late 2017.

“We don’t really plan on investing anything in it,” Branson said at that time. “It really isn’t cost effective to.”

The building was located in a pastoral forested setting, near a cemetery, but quite close close to the main campus. One could walk from Rockafield to the campus library in a few minutes.

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