Thursday, September 14, 2006

West Virginia Sig Eps Working on House Renovation

Four fraternities to renovate houses
By Kathleen Shoaff Staff Writer

Several fraternity houses at West Virginia University will soon be undergoing renovations to improve housing. The Sigma Phi Epsilon house, located at 709 N. High St., will soon be renovated to meet the current fire code, said John Weir, managing director of the fraternity's National Housing Corporation.

The house has not been occupied since November 2003 due to fire damage, he said. "It is one thing to repair the damage the fire caused," Weir said. "It is another thing to bring it up to current fire codes, which change with time."

A contractor had started the project, but the contract was terminated because of the fraternity's inability to meet with the price, Weir said. "We do have another contractor lined up and ready to start as soon as things get worked out," Weir said. "It depends on how fast we can get financing through the bank."

Part of the finances will come from insurance money the fraternity received from the fire and the other part will come from a local bank loan, Weir said.

Once the construction is under way, it is estimated to be completed within three months, he said. "Part of the mission of the fraternity is to enhance the college experience," Weir said. "We want an environment that fosters the values of the fraternity as well as academics."

Other fraternities at WVU are also expected to undergo renovations in the near future, said Ron Justice, assistant dean of students. The Kappa Alpha ho use has recently undergone major renovations through the assistance of the fraternity's alumni group, he said. Phi Sigma Kappa and Kappa Sigma are also expected to begin renovations on their houses soon, he added. Phi Sigma Kappa recently met with its alumni group and is preparing to hold a fund-raising drive to raise money for renovations, Justice said.

kathleen.shoaff@mail.wvu.edu