The Pi Beta Phi sorority will finally take up residence on Fredonia Avenue next fall after 20 years of waiting.
A groundbreaking ceremony took place Saturday at the future site of the home on the corner of North Institute Place and Fredonia Avenue, with current and past Pi Phi members in attendance.
“We drove down from Chicago to see this,” said Beth Johnson, ’07. “We’ve been watching it on the website so we were excited to be here for this.”
Angela Rucka, ’08, said she was glad to see years of hard work paying off.
“When we were here, we were figuring out all kinds of ways to fundraise for the new house,” she said. “It’s cool to see it finally happening.”
Senior Pi Phi member Brittany Kloss said even though she won’t be on campus next year, she will come back to see the finished house.
“I feel like we’ve just been raising money for forever, so it’s surreal to see it all coming together,” she said. “I can’t wait to see how it turns out. It’s going to be beautiful.”
Sophomore Samantha Zurawski, also a Pi Phi, said alumni were a major facet in preparing to build the new house.
“It has taken a lot of their donations to do this,” she said. “We’ve been on campus the longest, so we’ll keep some things from the old house, like the stained glass windows. I’m excited to be here for all the glory.”
The current Pi Phi house on the corner of North Institute Avenue and Main Street lacks air conditioning and an internal sprinkler system, said adviser for Bradley’s Pi Beta Phi chapter Patti Bash.
“Putting a sprinkler system and an alarm in the old house would have cost $1 million,” she said. “There is also a safety concern with the girls crossing Main Street and being so far away from campus.”
Bash said the new house will be 15,000 square feet and will have three single rooms and 15 double rooms, as well as an apartment for the housing director.
“It gives me such joy and such pride having worked with this,” Bash said. “We’ve dreamed of this for 20 years and now it’s a dream come true.”
President of the House Corporation Stephanie Muno said the Pi Phi residence was the last remaining house on the side of Main Street opposite the other greek houses.
“Bradley, for the last 20 years, wanted everything to be on the other side of Main Street,” she said. “We are the last part of that plan. So from a safety perspective, that’s why Bradley got involved.”
Vice President for Business Affairs Gary Anna said one of the biggest hurdles in finalizing plans was securing a spot for construction.
“In 1991 we had the first master plan, and Pi Phi came to us four or five years later and said they’d be ready to move,” he said. “At that time, we didn’t have a place for them to build. There were three houses here, but when one of the owners passed away, we made a call and were able to get this property in 2006. And here we are five years later.”