Fraternity house damage repaired

By Daniel McMahon

This past spring semester brought considerable change to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house when a fire destroyed nearly the entire inside of the building.

Now, some five months later, the house has been newly renovated for its members in time for the fall semester. The fraternity has taken up temporary residency in the house thanks to a summer construction campaign which helped bring the house back up to par.

Other than repairs made to fire damage, the house updated many portions of the structure for the purposes of fire safety including hardwiring fire alarms, repairing floors and replacing doors. Changes also included the replacement of windows to larger sizes for increased escape from the room in the event of another fire.

Residency will become permanent after a final inspection by the city.

The cost for replacing the fire damage was about $50,000 and was paid for with insurance. The bigger bill, however, was the $100,000 additional cost for updating the fire and safety codes.

The house construction was made possible from a loan secured from the National Headquarters of Pi Kappa Alpha and numerous businesses around the DeKalb area as well as other fraternities and sororities.

In appreciation for the enormous support received by the house for repair projects, the Pi Kappa Alpha members have planned a reception for those who supported them in their time of need.

Pikes will be inviting members of the NIU administration, NIU sorority and fraternity executives, area business people and numerous alumni to a reception scheduled for Sept. 18.

Bob Ryan, president of the not-for-profit Eta NW chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Housing Corporation, said there is a whole new concern for mutual respect of the house between the housing corporation and the members of the house.

“We have to work much closer together than we did before because there is much more of an investment in the newly redone house. The end result of the new improvements will mean greater responsibility and respect for all involved if we want to preserve our new improvements,” Ryan said.