Friday, February 22, 2008

NC State Begins New Fraternity Row

Greek Revival Begins at N.C. State

Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State University broke ground Friday on a 10- to 15-year plan to raze and rebuild fraternity and sorority houses on campus.

Four fraternity houses – Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kappa Sigma and Chi Psi – will be redeveloped in the first phase of the $104 million overhaul of Greek Court.

N.C. State will invest about $12 million in infrastructure, and alumni and the fraternity and sorority chapters will pick up part of the project's cost, said John Mountz, director of Greek life for the university.

Many of the houses to be replaced were built in the 1960s and are now cramped, infested with insects and have appliances that don't work.

"We've got to duct tape the floor where there are holes and (to) mark out where there's metal spikes coming up," said Bryan Spund, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon.

University officials, who have worked with students and alumni for more than a year on a master plan for the area, said an upgrade of the Greek houses was overdue.

"We now have members of fraternities and sororities who would rather live elsewhere even if their home chapter has a house here," Chancellor James Oblinger said.

As houses are demolished, crews will realign roads and build common amenities. Fraternities and sororities will then lease lots from the university to design and construct their new chapter houses.

"They'll build it. They'll own it. They'll manage it," Mountz said.

N.C. State will work with the fraternities and sororities to arrange temporary housing for students while the new chapter houses are under construction, he said.

The university also plans to build townhouses for lease to smaller Greek chapters that don't want to build a house.

The brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon said they can't wait to get out of their old house and into a new one.

"We're very excited. It's going to help with recruitment a lot," member Justin Tudor said.

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