Much Needed Fraternity House Remodel Underway

Click to View More Photos from the Job SiteIf you have been by 5th and Ivy in Chico recently you may have seen the boards on the windows of the house, and maybe you noticed that some interior walls and whatnot were missing. No, the house is not condemned – we’re actually doing a remodel. We submitted a ‘successful’ loan application to National this year – and after a bunch of back and forth, dotting i’s and crossing t’s, we wer approved for a ~$470,000 loan (some of which is being used to remodel the 1st floor and make life safety improvements).

Slideshow of photos from “work in progress”:

Check back for more pics as the work progresses. The house will be ready for move-in by August 15, but finishing work will continue into the fall semester…so it’ll be a little while before it’s all polished.

This is how we’re using the funds:

  • Payoff existing 11% mortgage (yes, 11%) from Gary Foster and 5th & Ivy Partners: ~$175,000
  • Life safety repairs (including foundation leveling, new doors & locks, sprinklers, fire alarms, rain gutters, etc.): ~$65,000
  • Remodel 1st Floor interior and some exterior (including full kitchen, functional living room, real dining room (red and white room), new windows and doors, remodel 1st floor bedrooms and bathrooms and (this is pretty cool) extending the main staircase to the basement: ~$230,000

Here’s the catch: we obviously have to pay this money back…it’s a loan, not a grant. Overall our monthly expenses will go up about 50%…so we raised dues and rent accordingly for the chapter this year so that we (they) can afford the new higher loan payments.

Why remodel only the interior of the 1st floor?

Because (1) tht is the area that needed the most love and (2) this loan wouldn’t afford us much more than that. The plan is to start a fundraising campaign and raise enough from alumni to cover a some of the rest of the work on the 2nd floor, attic, basement, and exterior. It may be a 2- or 3-phase project when it’s all said and done…but the plan is to re-do the whole house within the next 5 years. We are relying heavily on alumni donations to help us fund phase 2 of the remodel – hopefully to start in or around 2012: Donations Appreciated


There are a lot of guys that deserve credit for getting this loan approved, organizing the contractors, and just generally seeing this project through, but the one guy who stuck it out when the alumni board was losing steam, held things together, assembled a new board, and continues to donate time and effort to the cause is Tom Hyatt. No way would this be happening without him. Big thanks to Jereme Grinslade of Theta Chi’s Norwich Housing Board and the guys at Chico Home Improvement as well.

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