Administration to Explore Financing, Negotiate Lease Terms with Chapters
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Missouri, Feb. 28, 2015 – Conceptual designs for the first phase of a new Greek Village at Southeast Missouri State University were approved today by the University’s Board of Regents, which also directed the administration to explore financing options and negotiate lease terms with Greek organizations.
Final floor plans, site plans, construction cost estimates and financing options will be presented to the Board for approval at their May meeting.
In December, the Regents approved the feasibility of a Greek Village concept and authorized the administration to pursue design development. The University contracted with Stock & Associates to investigate topography and subsurface conditions on North Sprigg Street, north of the Show Me Center near the properties known as the Greystone and Shivelbine houses. Additionally, Hollis Miller architects were engaged to design preliminary floor plans to accommodate 20-24 beds per house. Since then, Greek organization representatives, Southeast administrators and the University’s architectural consultant have reviewed preliminary plans.
The topography and potential housing footprints indicate six to seven houses could be accommodated on the property, in addition to parking and green space when fully developed. This master plan was based on one-story housing layouts that incorporate a combination of single, double and triple bedrooms, along with various layouts of a chapter room, living room and kitchen spaces.
While the University plans to use common structural and HVAC systems in the houses, organizations would have several floor plan and exterior options, providing chapters with distinctive looks.
Adjustments to final floor plans and the placement and orientation of each house will be made as additional civil engineering work is completed, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.
Discussions will begin with Greek organizations to determine their house design, green space and recreational amenities they feel are important to the site. This input will be used in drafting a final site plan to drive future construction phases, Mangels said.
“University administration and our consultants will work with Greek organizations who have indicated an interest and ability to finance a house, to produce final building plans, site locations and cost estimates for construction,” Mangels said.
Construction and financing costs will be used to develop final lease terms, as the cost of construction will be repaid by the chapters through their lease, she said.
“It is the intent to design a lease structure that recognizes the equity commitment of these chapters, which might be reflected in a lease structure that adjusts over time for those chapters who continue long-term lease commitment,” she said.
Southeast had 1,321students in its Greek system last fall, with 649 men in fraternities, 637 women in sororities and 35 students in National Panhellenic Council organizations, according to Dr. Bruce Skinner, assistant vice president for Student Success and Auxiliary Services at Southeast.
When the Board of Regents met in December, Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success and dean of students, said the Greek Village concept would help further the University’s mission to recruit and retain students. Students who get involved on campus, and particularly Greek students, tend to remain on campus at Southeast, she said.
Skinner says a Greek Village would provide residential space for Greek students who are upperclassmen and pave the way for expansion of Southeast’s growing Greek community. Phi Delta Theta fraternity returned to Southeast last year and Tau Kappa Epsilon is in the process of returning to campus this year, he said.
The new Greek housing would provide additional space for on campus Greek students and provide a new housing option for junior and senior members of Greek chapters who wish to remain on campus, Skinner said. The Greek village, Skinner said, would create a new on-campus living environment for Southeast students, one meant to attract students who would otherwise live off campus. Additionally, the creation of new housing allows the University and the Greek community to consider expansion of other Greek national organizations to the Southeast campus.
Skinner said a Greek Village would fall under the University’s on-campus residential housing system. This would give Southeast the opportunity to develop closer relationships with chapters and their alumni.