Plans for a new Sigma Chi fraternity house may still be uncertain. However, the fate of the old location was settled recently when officals announced that the property's lease had been acquired by the
An e-mail written by Dean Robert Sumichrast to Terry staff on Friday announced that private donors recently pledged $4.7 million to buy out the fraternity's lease. According to the e-mail, the fraternity had 60 years left at its present location, but has agreed to vacate the house by June 30, 2014.
"The Terry College has been working to replace its current facilities with a new set of buildings we call the 'Business Learning Community,'" Sumichrast wrote. "UGA has provided space for our new facility on the land bounded by Hull, Baxter and Lumpkin Streets and south of the Baptist Center and has assisted two fraternities with relocating from that area. A third fraternity, Sigma Chi, is still located there and had over 60 years left on its lease. The location of that fraternity made designing the Business Learning Community difficult and fund raising for the project challenging."
Sigma Chi has been the subject of some controversy recently, due to their expressed desire to build a new fraternity house in the Cobbham Neighborhood. have responded negatively to the proposed house, and have expressed concerns that the house would change neighborhood quality of life and lead to declining property values.
If built, would be located on 340 North Milledge Avenue and would be two stories high with more than a dozen bedrooms.
Sumichrast wrote in his e-mail that the college plans to have three phases of construction for the upcoming Terry expansion. The first phase of construction on the Business Learning Community, if approved by the Board of Regents, would begin in 2013. The first phase would not overlap with Sigma Chi's present location.
The dean also wrote that he is planning to "appoint a committee of faculty and staff to work with the University architect's office on this project."
Repeated attempts by Athens Patch to speak with University architects were unsuccessful. As of Tuesday afternoon, Sumichrast has also refused comment. An e-mail from Amelie Gregory, Sumichrast's assistant, states that the dean "will not be giving any interviews" and is directing all requests to Vice President for Public Affairs Tom Jackson.