The Sigma Chi fraternity may be looking for a new home in Cobbham, but UGA officials say the university isn’t making them leave their current house on Lumpkin.
According to J. Dorsey, head of real estate and space management for UGA, the fraternity has a 40-year lease, which started in 1996. In 2036, they also have the option of renewing that lease for another 30 years.
“We’ve essentially given them a ground lease for 40 years,” Dorsey said. “All they have to do is meet the standards for a fraternity and not damage the property, but the Board of Regents owns the land.”
Last spring, officials from UGA and Sigma Chi were discussing the university’s buying out the fraternity’s lease. The land along Lumpkin, from the Baptist Student Union north, is going to support new buildings for the Terry College of Business.
“I think those discussions are still in progress today,” said UGA Spokesman Tom Jackson. “It’s between attorneys.”
Attempts weren’t successful in reaching an attorney who had contacted UGA about renewing the Sigma Chi lease weren’t successful.
The plans for the new Terry College show a kind of quadrangle similar to North Campus. And while it doesn’t include the current Sigma Chi house, it does come to the back of the building, Jackson said.
“Part of their impetus for moving is how close to the new buildings they want to be,” he said.
The first phase of the business school won’t be where the current fraternity house is, but will be further north, said Paul Cassilly, UGA’s Director of Design and Construction.
“One might assume [Lumpkin Street] is going to be a corridor of large, academic buildings,” he said. “They will be a residential building in an otherwise academic corridor. We’ve been planning this for years, but no time frame has yet been set for any of it. We’re not forcing them out.”