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New DKE house delayed until 2007

story image 1 

Cranes occupy both Stadium Drive and the Delta Kappa Epsilon lawn as Bryant-Denny Stadium expansion continues. Gorgas Hall, the former home of the UAPD, was razed over the holidays.
CW/ Charley Parden

Oldest frat house on campus hemmed in by construction, will be razed this summer


By Lori Creels
Senior Staff Reporter


January 12, 2006

Construction of the new Delta Kappa Epsilon house across the street from its soon-to-be razed house has been delayed, which means the fraternity will be without a house next year, a DKE official said.


The new DKE house will now open in fall 2007 instead of this fall, as originally planned. John McNeil, the UA DKE chapter's corporation adviser, said plans for the new DKE house haven't been finalized yet.

Construction on the new DKE house will likely start in March or April, he said.


The current DKE house, which is the oldest fraternity house on campus, will be demolished just after the semester ends, McNeil said. The house is being razed to make way for a grand entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium.


McNeil said the fraternity is weighing its options for a temporary house. At the least, the fraternity needs a place where members can eat three meals a day and gather at night for meetings, he said. UA officials are looking at potential campus sites, but the fraternity is also looking off campus, he said.


Students may notice that there's only debris where Gorgas Hall, the old home of the UA Police Department, used to stand on University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. The new DKE house will be built there. Gorgas was demolished just after Christmas, said Tim Leopard, director of UA construction administration.


Leopard said the fraternity decided to delay construction on the new house until May, so it wasn't necessary to raze Gorgas in October as originally scheduled.


The DKE house, which was built in 1916, awaits its doom surrounded by fences, cranes and other signs of heavy construction work.


Some DKEs who live in the house said the construction going on around it isn't a major distraction.

"The biggest thing that made me mad is that the [Million Dollar Band] didn't get to walk by before the games," at the end of the fall semester, said David Hawley, a junior majoring in finance. "The front yard is gone."


Miller Terry, a junior majoring in finance, said limited parking - not so much the noise - is the main problem with construction on three sides of the house. Most of the parking DKE house residents previously used has been blocked off by the stadium construction, he said.


Both Hawley and Terry said they wouldn't want to live in temporary housing next year.


Terry said most of his classes will be in the business school, and he would rather live in an apartment than in a temporary fraternity house far from his classes.


"It will just be more of a hassle," Hawley said.


Meanwhile, the UAPD has settled into the 70-year-old New Hall, an old dorm behind the President's Mansion, as a temporary police station.


Leopard said construction on a new UAPD site will begin this summer and is tentatively scheduled to be complete in November 2007. The location of the new police site is still being finalized, he said. Plans will be presented to the UA System Board of Trustees in February, he said.




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