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By Emma Behrmann/Fresh Take Florida

  • The University of Florida is making sure its newly hired president can dive into the job. The school in Gainesville confirms it is building a new $300,000 swimming pool behind the stately mansion on campus where former U.S. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska will live with his family. Construction on the expensive addition to the 7,400-square-foot, four-bedroom mansion started in November and is nearly complete. The university says Sasse – who had no pool at his family’s home in Fremont, Nebraska – did not ask for the pool to be built and provided no input over its design. The money is coming from private donors. It wasn't immediately clear why the new pool for Sasse is so expensive, or how much it will cost the university to maintain. The average cost for an in-ground residential pool in Florida is just under $60,000. Features such as tanning ledges, beach entries, hot tubs, lighting, gas-fired heating systems and more can increase design and installation costs. Sasse begins work on campus on February 6. He will be paid $1 million in base salary for five years plus a raise of up to 4% and a bonus after five years of up to another $1 million. He did not respond to phone messages or a letter sent to his home asking to discuss his swimming habits.