Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s brothers started the academic year homeless.
The fraternity, which was kicked off campus from 2008 to 2012 for hazing, bulldozed its house, located at 11 W. Fraternity Row, in June and is rebuilding. Construction is expected to finish Summer 2018, and the house will reopen Fall 2018.
RJ Perkins, the president of UF’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, said the reconstruction costs $4.7 million. To finance the project, current brothers and recent graduates got a $250,000 loan, promising to repay the amount as soon as they get jobs, Perkins said. The remaining money was fundraised by private donors and chapter alumni. The brothers have been fundraising since 2012.
Brothers who formerly lived in the house found other accommodations, and the chapter rituals will be held in different locations during construction, Perkins said.
“Some guys are disappointed because there’ll be a year without a house, but everyone’s excited to get back in it since it’ll provide us with bigger and better things,” Perkins said.
The new house will have the same amount of rooms, but instead of being formatted in the traditional dorm style they will be designed into “common rooms” with “pods,” which are like cubicles, inside. Each brother will have a private pod for himself.
A new alumni library and a veterans’ plaque commemorating the brothers who have served in the armed forces will be added to the house, Perkins said.
David Hicks, the fraternity’s president from November 2015 to November 2016, said the old house was built in the early 1960s, and the organization decided it was time to change it.
“We all decided it was a good idea to start with something fresh after we came back,” Hicks said.