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Installation of Sprinklers Complete

The long-hyped project to install fire-suppression sprinklers in the chapter house is complete. The installation, which was conducted in two phases over the last four years, cost $35,000 and was completed more than a year ahead of the deadline. Although the project exceeded our estimates by $3,000 (partly due to the passing of years between our estimation and the actual installation), that overage was reduced from what it could have been by partnering with the other fraternities and sororities at WIU to collectively negotiate with FE Moran.

We were able to raise roughly $19,500* of that in donations from alumni like you. Although we view the sprinklers, and the $6,000 integrated alarm and strobes, as an undue burden; they do enhance the safety of our members and increase the resale value of our property to the most likely buyers: other fraternities (although we do not have any immediate plans to sell). Now that we have cleared this hurdle, House Corp can focus on renovations and improvements to the chapter house.

 

*this is a rough figure because some donations are still coming (via pledges to donate every month) and because some donations were in-kind services.

What Happened to Buying a New House?

You may remember that House Corp recently sought to purchase a new chapter house (actually, two of them), and had set up a fund and collected donations toward that goal. The short story is that the deal fell through.

We first attempted to buy the former Delta Sigma Phi house on Avery Street. The deal seemed too good to be true and, as it turned out, it was.  Although we met their asking price and submitted a steep good-faith payment, the DSP house corporation rejected our offer. It seems to us that they were simply collecting offers in order to leverage their own alumni into buying the house, on the hope that their fraternity would be allowed to return to the campus in a few years. Our good-faith payment was returned.

We also looked into purchasing the former Pi Kappa Alpha house on Wigwam Hollow Rd (Greek Row); however the potential revenue of the property, combined with the intense rehabilitation that it would require, did not merit their asking price. We did submit an offer for the highest price that would allow us to operate in the black (far lower than their asking price), but it was rejected. Another fraternity has since bought the property and we wish them the best of luck.

We have looked around for other suitable properties in Macomb, and have explored the possibility of building an entirely new house; however, neither of these options could be accomplished without spending far more than it would cost to completely renovate 611 W. Adams, and would significantly weaken our financial position. Unless an unforeseen opportunity falls into our laps (as the DSP house seemed to), we will focus on renovating the current chapter house. We do have some ideas to build an expansion, however, these are purely speculative at this point. We will be sure to keep you informed if we elect to move forward with such plans.

As promised, House Corp offered refunds to everyone who directed their donations toward the New House Fund; but, in a show of generosity, every donor declined the refund. Their contributions were applied to the general fund (donations to House Corp are used only for repairs, maintenance, upkeep, and renovations to the chapter house property), and have helped to offset the cost of completing the sprinkler installation.

Winter Work Weekend

The House Corp will be having a work day after Christmas. If you are willing and able to come, we welcome you! Details are listed below.

Date: December 30, 2017

Time: Noon

Location: 611 W. Adams St. -Macomb, IL (Chapter House)

What To Bring: Yourself! All materials and tools will be provided.

Work Needed: Carpets Shampooed, 2 Rooms Painted, New Carpet Laid in 1 Room, Curtain Rods & Curtains Installed on Windows in Shield & Front Rooms, Wood Floor Laid & Sealed in Foyer & Entry Way, White Cross Painted on Wood Floor.

We look forward to having you with us and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!