Since its founding in 1915, the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity has initiated over 2,000 brothers into the Chi Zeta Chapter at Illinois. Last year, the chapter celebrated its centennial at the University.
Yet one main event stood out in the commemoration: The fraternity decided to rebuild its chapter house located at 209 E. Armory St.
Peter Kale, the University’s alumni president of Lambda Chi Alpha, said the house has severe structural problems.
With almost one hundred years worth of wear and tear, Kale said they decided to completely rebuild the house. In order to best aid the fraternity, the board needs predictability of expenses and the time window of the construction.
However, that’s not possible with renovating an old house.
“There was so much that had to be repaired that to try and just do a restoration would be unpredictable on the charge and expenses,” Kale said. “You don’t know what problems are going to be behind a wall or under the floors.”
While many members certainly feel nostalgia for their original home, Alec Gladkowski, an active member of Lambda Chi Alpha, noted people are excited about the rebuild.
“The concept designs of the house and visible progress at the construction site have given active members something to look forward to during the year,” Gladkowski said.
While most of the active members will stay in the University Housing system during the construction, roughly 30 members out of the 80 total are staying in a house that used to be a sorority in Urbana to keep the chapter members together.
It’s something that Neil Singh, the president of the Chi Zeta Chapter and junior in Engineering, is adjusting to. He noted that the temporary living conditions are a little higher quality than they were in the old house.