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Demolition marks first step to campus residential Greek house

Submitted by Taylor Hoffard on October 6, 2011 – 3:26 pmNo Comment

Members of Pi Kappa Alpha watch Monday, Oct. 3, as demolition begins on the lot of their future residential fraternity house located across from East Hall on Fair Park Boulevard. The organization anticipates completion of their new house within approximately one year. Photo by Ricky Harris

With the demolition of two houses across from East Hall on Fair Park Boulevard, the UALR chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity is one step closer to having a residential Greek house at UALR.

After the demolition of the two houses, the fraternity will begin building their new house, which will include six to eight apartments, capable of housing twelve to sixteen people. The house will be approximately 4,700 square feet.

To provide funding for this project, the organization will raise money from the organization’s alumni association and accept donations. The total cost for the project is approximately  $700,000.

“This will be the first fraternity house built on campus since the late ‘60s,” said Troy Burns, a Pike alumni and 1976 graduate of UALR.
Remodeling the houses was never a consideration. “The houses were condemned,” said Trey Gibeault, a sophomore business major and vice-president of the organization.

“We got a whole new thing to be built in these lots,” said Burns. The cost of remodeling and making the houses habitable would have cost more than demolishing them and rebuilding, according to Burns.

Being part of a fraternity is an indescribable experience according to Tracy Emmerling, sophomore criminal justice major, who said, “From the inside looking out, you can’t describe it. From the outside looking in, it’s everything.”

“It’s hard to describe because there’s so many things- the close friendships, networking, the great experiences and memories to be made,” Emmerling said.

“We are based off of scholars, leaders, athletes and gentlemen,” said Gibeault.

The fraternity plans on moving members in as soon as the house is built, which should take about a year or more for completion.

A Fraturnity representative said possible conditions to live in the apartments may include a GPA requirement, financial aid and various academic requirements, along with senior members getting the first picks. “Higher standards make success,” said Emmerling.

There are approximately 25 students who are pledging the fraternity this fall.

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