University unveils Master Plan for Greek renovations
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 21:05
The West Virginia University Office of Student Organizations has released plans for renovations of facilities used by the WVU Greek fraternities and sororities.
Known as the WVU Greek Master Plan, the document and corresponding video outline a number of future improvements, including several new fraternity and sorority houses, additional parking and safety upgrades.
A public amphitheater, a dining area and Greek-themed walkways have also been included in the plan. Design work was done by Mills Group, an architecture and design firm based in Morgantown.
However, Director of Student Organization Services Ron Justice was quick to clarify the nature of the plan.
"It’s a plan, not a blueprint," he said. "We had to have some kind of vision for Greek life, and this is something we can all work from."
Alumni stakeholders helped form the plan along with exploratory committees from the University.
"We explored places like Frostburg, Virginia Tech and Maryland to see what kind of Greek life they have, and we met with alumni stakeholders and asked them what they’d like to see," Justice said.
Objectives of the plan includes cohesive architecture, additional parking, traffic flow reroute, pedestrian amenities improvement and future expansion possibilities. Problems the plan strives to solve include lack of parking, degrading infrastructure, steep pedestrian grades and safety concerns.
Specifically, the plan describes the construction of new buildings for these fraternities: Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Theta Chi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phi Kappa Sigma.
The Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Delta sororities have also planned the construction of new buildings.
To accommodate growth, shared parking garages are planned for construction on Waverly, Belmar and Glendan avenues with a total of 353 parking spaces.
Currently, all but one of the fraternity and sorority houses at WVU are owned by alumni stakeholders or independent parties.
All renovations in the plan will be funded by these private sources, allowing each organization to pursue funding separately.
"They would have to make the investment in order for this to happen, but there’s not one thing dependent on another," Justice said.
One fraternity can choose to renovate immediately while others have the option to wait.
"It doesn’t impact what’s going on with the plan," he said.
The plan came from a general interest in improving Greek facilites at WVU, Justice said. In 2007, three fraternity houses were condemned because of unsafe living conditions. These houses were subsequently improved, and Justice hopes further renovations will enrich Greek life at WVU.
"They’ve done a lot for us and hopefully getting their housing up to speed will help boost their membership," he said.
The video of 3-D artist renderings of the Greek Master Plan can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7fS-E4pMeo.