STATE OF THE HOUSING FUND
Drive for 55
The housing committee has been in existence for nearly 25 years. Many of us have given and many more of us have said “I’ll give when we’re close”. Brothers, now is the time. This is your legacy. There can’t be a clearer ask. We will have the house rebuilt if you contribute and will never ask again!
In August 2022, we met with the active chapter. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they had been unable to host an event with more than 5 people in over 2 ½ years. This inability to host even a meeting had withered the chapter down to 5 members. Even worse, the house had fallen into disrepair as it went unused. Without a new house, the chapter was set to fold.
The housing committee met with the 5 members to gauge whether this was even a salvageable endeavor and with assurances from chapter leadership gave them the pledge we will get them a usable house if they could rush new members. At this point, even losing most of those 5 to graduation, the chapter stands at 15 members who are ready to build and we have to keep our promise to them.
What happened to a complete rebuild?
In March 2020 we entered into meetings with the City of Bel Ridge. The housing board hired an architect, and we had elevation drawings completed. Bel Ridge was having trouble defining the building/ordinance code which our property currently sits in "Code F." We were able to come to terms, and the city board approved our plans. Our final step was a meeting with a counsel consisting of City Officials and Residents. Unfortunately, the approval was granted on March 8th by the City Counsel with plans to hold the town hall style final meeting. A week later the country went on lockdown due to COVID-19.
COVID grinded our efforts to a halt. The housing committee met again in January of 2022 in hope to relaunch our efforts. It came to our attention that Bel-Ridge had completely rehauled their government and new officials were in place due to local elections. We also inquired with our builder and architect to get an idea of the cost to build. In the end, it would cost double to demo and build new from our estimated costs in 2020. We would also have to start new with the city of Bel-Ridge with the potential of new obstacles being created that would delay our efforts significantly. In April 2022, the housing committee came together again, and it was decided to use the $125,000 in the account and renovate our current house.
After the meeting in April 2022, we began to get bids and contacted contractors to give us an idea of the projects ahead. We met in August 2022 and Kevin Nelson (Gamma Theta Alumni) stepped up to be the "General Contractor" and manage the renovation process. After the conversation with contractors, bids, and Kevin's estimated cost, we realized that an additional $80,000 would be needed to complete the project. The end project would cost an estimated $200,000. The housing committee decided to begin work immediately. The plan for the first phase was to do exterior updates which included the following: Roof, Siding, Soffits, Windows, and Fence. Kevin Nelson began this phase in the middle of September 2022, and it was completed by November 2022. The next phase started almost immediately after Phase I was completed.
Phase II was started in November 2022 with a complete clearing and gutting of the house. Plans for the inside include new HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, Insulation, and Drywall. After the interior demolition was completed, it was discovered that the main support beams of the house would need to be replaced. Once that was completed, the house would be level, and the electrical, insulation, and framing could begin. This is where we stand today. We have right around $15,000 in the bank account with $80,000 needing to be fundraised.
Our campaign to raise the additional funds will start in the coming days. We have already had some generous commitments made. Two of our alumni have committed $30,000 with the stipulation that they are supported by fellow alumni.
Essentially, they are willing to match the efforts up to $30,000 in order to incentivize others to give. This narrows the goal to $50,000. We are asking anyone and everyone to give in our alumni group. The house will have a usable kitchen, large bathrooms to accommodate both residents and guests, an open first floor plan, and more. If we do not have these funds in the next 45 days, it will severely halt our timeline which is to have the house move-in ready by August 2023 for Fall Rush.
How much should you give?
We realize some are not able to give as much as others. If you can’t give $1000 or more, consider using $55 for something meaning for you. For every year the fraternity has been in your life: (EG: If you pledged 10 years ago, $550) $55 for every pledge brother of yours, $55 for something of importance of yours. Whatever it is, we need you and if you don’t see a friend donate, call them up and give them crap for it!
What is next?
We will be updating weekly the progress on the build as well as acknowledge those who were able to give that week and where we are in relation to reaching our financial goal.
As we get closer, we will be in communication for any events to rechristen the house and help these actives flourish.