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USF increases Lifsey House security

Fences and a gate costing $376,000 have been added around Lifsey House, where USF President Steven Currall resides. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

It wouldn’t necessarily be categorized as the classic American Dream white picket fence but the newly added metal fencing around Lifsey House, home to USF President Steven Currall and his wife, Cheyenne, does the same job, nevertheless. 

The $376,000 fence project was part of the university’s increased security measures when the Curralls moved into the on-campus presidential home this summer.

The fence installation began in mid-September with USF Facilities Management overseeing the project. The company hired to install the fencing around the 9,000-square-foot mansion, located alongside Fowler Avenue and Alumni Drive near the main entrance of campus, was not disclosed.

USF spokesperson Adam Freeman said the project was paid for with non-state funds through the USF Foundation.

The Lifsey House primarily was used for ceremonies and social gatherings prior to Currall’s move-in, according to University Police (UP) Administration Bureau Commander Meg Ross.

The living quarters had been vacant since 1999, when Betty Castor stepped down as president. Castor’s successor, Judy Genshaft, lived off campus during her 19-year tenure.

“It went from a vacant house used only for ceremonies to a 24/7 residential private residence,” Ross said. “We handle it differently based on the use.”

Freeman said the fence will feature a gate at the end of the driveway to manage the entry of guests. Only invited guests of the president and authorized vehicles will be granted access to the property.

“In order to maintain a safe living environment and avoid unnecessary disruptions, a fence is being added around the front of the house,” Freeman said.

“Prior to taking this precaution, any person could walk or drive up to the front door at any time, including late at night, because USF is an open campus 24 hours a day.”