Sigma Phi Epsilon started construction on a housing project in 2015 which is projected to finish this summer, making the house available for members next semester.
Senior Nathan Verzeaux, Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter president, said the original house was more than 30 years old, so it needed significant repairs. He said after inspection, engineers determined the foundation was still sound, so there was no need to find a new location. The SigEp Alumni Association hired Kirksville architect Kenneth Shook and Sparks Constructors as the general contractor. Construction of a new house began on the foundation of the original house.
Verzeaux said the new house can room up to 19 fraternity members. The house will have more than 5,000 square feet on the first and second floors and a 2,000 square foot basement, he said. The house will have a wrap-around deck, as well. Besides the living space, the house will have 1,600 square feet devoted to educational purposes, including a classroom and study spaces.
Verzeaux said the SigEp Alumni Association was responsible for the funding of the new house. He said there was a 17-person fundraising and construction committee for the house in summer 2015, which contacted SigEp class leaders and alumni for donations. In total, the committee raised $1.1 million for the new house by the end of 2016. Verzeaux said donation pledges ranged from $500-150,000, which are payable over a few years.
The fraternity is interested in partnering with Truman State University to choose faculty fellows to teach in the house. This house gives the fraternity the opportunity to apply to become a Residential Learning Community, then they can begin discussions with Truman about how to implement that.
For more information about the SigEp house, pick up a copy of The Index on Feb. 15.