WKU wants to move Sig Ep, Chi Omega

Michael McKay

An item going up for vote during Friday’s Board of Regents meeting could have a big impact on Greeks.

If approved, the board will buy the Cherry Hill Place apartment building located at 1415 College St. and give it to Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity in exchange for the organization’s property on Normal Street.

The appraisal for Cherry Hill Place was valued at $270,000, higher than the $210,000 appraisal on the current Sig Ep house, which President Gary Ransdell said was a good deal for the Sig Eps.

“I think they’re trading up,” Ransdell said.

He said the real estate corporation for the university has owned Cherry Hill Place for around five years. The building has been used as rental property until the university had a plan for the property.

The university plans to use the lots owned by Sig Ep, Chi Omega sorority and an outside property group as a site for a new $22 million Honors College building, according to the meeting agenda.

Laura Goodman, Chi O’s personnel advisor, said her organization and the university have been speaking “for years” about possible plans for their house.

“We’re not getting involved,” Goodman said of the current plan.

She said they were waiting for the university to present them with a final offer before any decision would be made.

Ransdell said the property move with Chi O is different because the university isn’t involved financially.

“We have a piece of property on Chestnut owned by the real estate corp without debt,” he said. “It was gifted to us. So we’ll do a swap with the Chi O’s on that piece of property, and then the real estate corporation will give the current Chi O property to the university, and that’ll  give us three lots total.”

While the plan for the Chi O’s isn’t finalized, Sig Ep is far along in the moving process. The university will not be remodeling the house on College Street.

“What they see is what they get,” Ransdell said.

Glasgow junior Will Vance, Sig Ep president, said his organization plans to tear down Cherry Hill Place to build a new house, which is already in the design phase.

Vance said he is happy with the trade-off.

“Western wants the property so bad,” Vance said. “I mean, they are giving us a ($)270,000 house versus a ($)210,000 house, so it’s a pretty big upgrade.”

Vance said most of the people in his chapter are getting really excited about the move.

“Everyone else is getting a new house, so we feel like we need to have a new house in order to rush newer people,” he said. “Because right now, we’re basically at a disadvantage compared with the all of the other ones.”