Phi Delta Theta to get new house

Aaron Mudd

After a little more than a year without a house of its own, Phi Delta Theta fraternity is working to build a new home at 330 Alumni Ave. 

Jason Heflin, the project manager and a Phi Delta Theta alumnus, said the planned three-story, 9,000-square-foot house will accommodate 16 fraternity members.

“It’ll have a different look and feel, too, than any of other the other fraternity houses, stylistically,” Heflin said. “The design plan we have now, which is still under review, is more of a lodge-type feel, using timbers and stone more in the exterior look.”

During the summer, two houses were demolished to make way for construction of the new fraternity house. Phi Delta Theta President and Louisville junior Evan Mack said the fraternity rented the houses out to tenants before demolishing them in July.

Heflin said the house’s interior would feature individual rooms for each residing member, with a shared bathroom between each room. The house would also provide common areas for studying and meetings. The house’s groundbreaking is planned for Nov. 8 during Homecoming. 

Phi Delta Theta has raised about $500,000 toward its $600,000 goal and plans to have students move in either in fall 2015 or spring 2016. Most of the donations came from Phi Delta Theta alumni. 

“We wanted a location that was close to campus, and something that was new,” Heflin said. “And provided all the amenities that we could get on campus and more.” 

Charley Pride, director of Student Activities, said the chapter faced operational problems. It closed down in December 2012. 

The fraternity has since made a return last semester as a colony, which Pride said means it is seeking full chapter status, a goal it hopes to achieve by January.

Mack said the fraternity is looking to raise its number of members in order to regain full chapter status.

“We need to get 50 guys before we can get our charter,” Mack said.

Mack said that number was set by the fraternity headquarters, but the alumni were still able to get the colony a house because it wasn’t completely under the headquarter’s control.

Joe Morel, chairman of the chapter advisory board, said the previous chapter had several issues.

“It was kind of an accumulation of things,” Morel said. “It was academic. It was financial delinquency of the chapter to our national headquarters. It was recruitment issues.”

Morel said the chapter decided to cut ties with its previous members and recruit new members who shared the alumni’s and organization’s goal of personal fulfillment for its members. 

In order to promote education as a priority, Heflin said residents of the house would have to meet certain academic standards.

“The group that we have now, they’re going to have organized study groups, checks on their education, and checks on their grades where they’re accountable for it,” Heflin said.

“The house will be the hub for that.” 

Heflin said the house is the fraternity’s main priority.

“The next step is to get these guys in this house and let them take some ownership over the direction of the chapter,” Heflin said.