By Austin Andersen
On the night of Wednesday, Feb, 1, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house suffered a partial collapse of its chimney resulting in boiler damage and a subsequent relocation of the brothers living there. The collapse was a result of the house’s aging construction.
The Phi Delta Theta brothers have moved in with friends living in College Park Hall and along Seward Place with the hopes that restoration efforts will allow them to move back to the house soon.
Regardless of the inconvenience this event has posed for the brothers of the house, fortunately no one was hurt and there was minimal property damage.
The Phi Delta Theta fraternity house overlooking the football field has remained in fairly similar shape since it was built nearly a century ago. The sheer time it has been standing has been determined as the sole cause for this predicament.
“It’s age,” explained Director of Greek Life Timonty Dunn. “The building is very old… I think that’s the same structure that was there when they signed the lease on that building 99 years ago.”
The lease to the house is up in 2013, at which point the college will take control of the property. As of now, there are no plans to renew this lease, and the college and the fraternity brothers are working together to find new accommodations elsewhere.
“The college owns the land and not the building, and so I don’t know a whole lot about how the building was kept-up over the years. And I say that because I know what has gone on in Davidson and [Theta Delta Chi] over the past years because the college owns them and I’ve got those records, but since we don’t own the Phi Delta Theta structure, it’s up to them to deal with the building,” said Dunn. “The brothers haven’t vandalized the building. They haven’t damaged it in any capricious way. It’s just a very old house.”
According to the Phi Delta Theta brothers, brothers were just hanging out in the house at the time of the collapse, and they did not realize anything was wrong until Campus Safety arrived. Campus Safety was summoned when a carbon monoxide alarm was set off relating to the cave-in.
Upon further inspection, the boiler was found to have been damaged. This damage was the main reason that the brothers had to leave their fraternity house, as they would not have had heat or hot water during the upcoming winter weeks. At that point, they notified the proper authorities, which included ambulances to provide assistance if anyone was hurt.
When asked how the brothers felt about their new living spaces, Dom Calistro ‘13 said that “people are mad about not having a house. It was kind of like a Hurricane Katrina type situation down at CPH for a while. They put up a bunch of mattresses for us… but I guess people are alright, I don’t know, but some people are a little bit upset.”
These mattresses were placed in the CPH lounge that first “crisis” night. After that night, brothers were assigned to rooms with available space.
The brothers are still unsure of when repairs will be completed and when authorities will clear them to move back into their house. They hope that they will be able to return as soon as possible.
Even so, the fraternity’s time at the century-old home at the 50-yard line is coming to a close as the brothers begin to look for a new house when their lease expires next year.