The awarding of the contract today allows the University to now move forward with a construction budget for the housing development on the north end of the campus, north of the Show Me Center. The project includes the construction of four houses and an access drive off of Alumni Drive. The project schedule calls for two houses to be complete by fall 2016 and two by fall 2017.
The houses will be leased by four Southeast fraternities: Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu and Sigma Phi Epsilon. While the University will finance the cost of construction, the financing costs will be amortized to the chapters through their lease rate, said Kathy Mangels, vice president for Finance and Administration.
Representatives from the four Southeast fraternities last week agreed to an increase in their annual chapter lease rates to account for higher construction costs – primarily in electrical, plumbing and wood framing. The low bid of $7,730,000 is $477,787 above a July cost estimate.
The Board of Regents approved the feasibility of a Greek Village concept last December. In February, the Regents authorized administration to complete design development and negotiate lease terms with interested Greek organizations. In May, the Board approved conceptual design and gave administration the go-ahead to complete design development and finalize lease terms with Greek organizations for the first phase of the project.
The Greek Village is part of a larger initiative to enhance student engagement and to retain and graduate more students, said Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for Finance and Administration. The University has worked with fraternities and sororities since 2013 to increase student participation in Greek Life. Strategic planning for Greek Life at Southeast is under way. Based on consultants’ recommendations, the University is developing short-term and long-term strategies, Below said.