Former Sig Ep house demolished

David Miller, president of WKU’s Sigma Phi Epsilon, watches the demolition of the old Sig Ep house on Normal Street. Sig Ep’s new home is now on College Street.

Elliott Pratt

Bricks, two-by-fours, and drywall were erased Wednesday from what was once the former Sigma Phi Epsilon house on Normal Street, but the memories will never fade away for the fraternity brothers.

“I met my wife here,” Mike Russell, vice president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon alumni association, said as he watched the demolition.

The demolition of the house was one of the beginning phases in the process of building a new $22 million Honors College and International Center.

WKU acquired the property on Normal Street from Sig Ep on July 5. In exchange, the fraternity house has relocated to the Cherry Hill Place apartment building on College Street.

The demolition began just before noon Wednesday and only took 30 minutes. About 10 Sig Ep members came out to watch the house go down said David Miller, president of Sig Ep.

“I knew it would be a bittersweet moment,” Miller said. “But I didn’t expect it to be this sad in actually watching it go down.”

Miller said the fact that the fraternity already had a place to call home makes soaking in the demolition process much easier.

Russell, a 2005 WKU graduate, said there weren’t enough words to describe the feeling of seeing the house demolished.

“We met life long friends here,” Russell said. “I transferred from Louisville and my first year on campus I stayed in room one of that house. It’s where I got my first experience of Western.”

Miller watched as the bulldozer approached the final corner of the house, and shared the meaning of watching his tangible past be torn away.

“That corner is where it all started – where I met my brothers for the first time,” Miller said. “It’s crazy what memories go through your head watching it all.”

As vice president of the Sig Ep alumni association, Russell said that bricks saved from the demolition will be given to each alumni present at the annual gathering Saturday.

“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.”