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Crimson White Online

September 19, 2005

DKE house to be demolished

New house to be built on UA Police Department site


by Mike Faulks
Student Life Editor


The Delta Kappa Epsilon house, built in 1916 and the oldest fraternity house on campus, will be demolished at the end of the school year to make room for an entrance way to Bryant-Denny Stadium, a DKE official said Sunday.

Gorgas Hall, currently used by the UA Police Department, will be torn down in early November to make way for a new DKE house, which will be ready by fall 2006, said DKE House Corporation adviser John McNeil.

The site of the old DKE house will be used as a part of the new grand entrance for Bryant-Denny, McNeil said.

He said the University will compensate the fraternity for the value of the original house and allow it to lease the land Gorgas Hall is on, but the fraternity will also need to raise about $3 million to pay for the new house.

McNeil, a former DKE and 1979 UA graduate who now works at McNeil, Jackson, Ahrens Financial Group in Mobile, said initially many of the fraternity's alumni opposed losing "the mansion on the hill," but they eventually agreed not to stand in the way of the University's progress.

McNeil said UA administrators were helpful and easy to work with during the process and that a special marker will be placed on the site after the stadium's grand entrance was finished to commemorate the house and its history.

The fraternity's new house will have better living arrangements, McNeil said. While only 14 students can live in the current house, which has very small rooms and community showers, the new house will have room for 30 to 34 people with larger rooms, private baths and high-speed Internet access.

McNeil said the fraternity will soon kick off a fund-raising campaign directed specifically at alumni to get the money needed for the new house.

A few DKE members who were tossing a football on the house's lawn Sunday afternoon said they will miss the house after it's demolished.

John Turner, a senior majoring in telecommunication and film, said he will miss it for its tradition at the University.

The new house won't have the same character, said Will Alpaugh, a senior majoring in healthcare management. But it will develop its own character over time, he said.

"I'd definitely rather stay here," Alpaugh said. "But I guess the next best thing is to move there."



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