Fraternities adjust to new houses

Fall formal rush fraternity recruits mingle outside the new Sigma Phi Epsilon house.

Just in time for formal fraternity recruitment, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities have settled into their new homes.

The new Pike house is located on Center Street, next to the Sigma Chi fraternity house on “Greek Row.”

Greek Row is home to other fraternities such as Sigma Nu fraternity and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The Pikes have had difficulties during the construction of their house. Windows were broken in two separate incidents at the Pike house over the summer.

A construction worker told the Herald in August that 22 windows were replaced in the first incident and two were replaced two weeks later.

Adam Rider, assistant director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, told the Herald earlier in the month that private security patrolled the site on the weekends.

“The first time it happened the job site was less secure,” Rider said. “Somebody had come into the house and kicked windows out. There were liquor bottles everywhere.”

Clay senior Eric Jones, the Vice President of Pike, said his organization has been working with local police but there are still no leads on either incident.

Jones said his chapter loves the house and the opportunities it affords them and their alumni.

He said the transition to being on Greek row hasn’t been a difficult one.

“It’s not bad,” Jones said. “You can tell it’s a little tense, but we’re doing everything we can to get along and be civil and hopefully it will be a good safe year.”

The Sig Eps have had construction projects of their own. They recently relocated to the Cherry Hill Place apartment building located on College Street.

Sig Ep President David Miller said the fraternity has been extensively renovating Cherry Hill Place.

“We’ve fully given the house a facelift,” he said.

Miller said the fraternity has worked to bring the house to code. They have put in new floors, updated appliances, taken out some walls and repainted the entire building.

“The new location has been much better for us,” Miller said.

He said the fraternity is planning on tearing down Cherry Hill Place and constructing a new house in the future. A blueprint of the building is in the process of being drafted.

He believes that the house marks a new chapter for Sig Ep.

“Our future is very bright,” he said.

The former Sig Ep house was demolished on July 24 to make way for the new Honors College and International Center, which is estimated to cost $22 million.

Mike Russell, a 2005 WKU graduate and vice president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon association, was on site at the demolition of the old Sig Ep house on July 24. Russell told the Herald in July he had a lot of memories about the house.

“We still have a long road ahead of us,” Russell said. “We’re excited about our future, but it’s tough to see our past go.”

In the meantime, the former Sig Ep house on Normal Drive is being used as a temporary parking lot open for those with housing parking permits, according to Charley Pride, director of Student Activities.

Pride said WKU bought and demolished the original Pike house on Chestnut Street to expand the Chestnut parking lot. The expanded parking will be made available to both students and faculty.