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Virginia Tech and local chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity announce housing construction plan


BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 2, 2011 – The Division of Student Affairs and Virginia Tech’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity have announced groundbreaking plans for new on-campus housing intended for the fraternity’s Virginia Tech chapter. 

The ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 3 outside the Oak Lane Greek housing community.

In accordance with Virginia’s Public-Private Education Act and the university’s charter, construction for the Sigma Phi Epsilon house will be jointly financed by alumni gifts and university funds, however the house will remain university property. The Sigma Phi Epsilon house’s fundraising campaign is chaired  by John Lawson, former rector of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, and Don McNamara, both alumni of the fraternity.

The new house, designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver standards and commissioned in accordance with Virginia’s PPEA, will be located adjacent to the Oak Lane Greek housing community and Virginia Tech’s golf course. The facility will be part of a master plan for the expansion of the existing Oak Lane fraternity and sorority housing complex, an initiative approved last year by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The new building will house 36 students and a house director. 

“We are excited to enter this partnership and strengthen our fraternity and sorority community on campus,” said Edward Spencer, vice president for student affairs. “By partnering with the chapters and house corporations, we are able to start the expansion before the expected timeline, as well as meet the specific needs of the individual groups.”

Final approval of the house design is expected at the board of visitors meeting on Aug. 29.

Under this phase of the Oak Lane Community plan, each participating fraternity or sorority will partner with the university to design its own chapter house, which may reflect the organization’s unique character and needs. The cost of each house is anticipated to be in the range of $2 to $4 million, and the total expansion project is authorized to cost $23.5 million.

To qualify, affiliated Greek organizations or their house corporations must make tax deductible contributions to the Virginia Tech Foundation of approximately one-third of the total project costs for the proposed construction. Through debt financing, the university will provide the other two-thirds of the cost of each house as well as the infrastructure and site development costs.

The Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech encompasses departments dedicated to providing a rich co-curricular experience and essential student services. Virtually every aspect of a student's life outside the classroom is represented through the division's departments.