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Alpha Xi Delta moves into house

February 18, 2011

It is finished. The Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity has begun to move in to their brand new house on the site of Zeta Beta Tau’s Woodbine House.

The women of Alpha Xi Delta expected to move in to the house last August, but the project was delayed six months because of construction delays. In addition, the house ended up being $800,000 over the target price of $1.2 million due to changes in the prices of materials and labor between last spring and today.

“I think we’re still within the realm of reasonable,” said Daniel Reck, Assistant Director of Greek Life, Leadership and Involvement. “Call it a model home.”

Regardless, Alpha Xi Delta house residents have been moving their belongings for the past week from their temporary residence in the college’s fraternity complex and other residence halls to their house. On Monday Feb. 14 and Tuesday Feb. 15, the chapter moved fraternity belongings and ritual equipment and, since Tuesday, members have been slowly moving their stuff in to the new house.

“Dude, I’m stoked,” said Alpha Xi Delta member Stephanie Steele, who studied abroad last fall in Scotland. Steele was planning to live in the house when she returned to Monmouth this semester but instead had to move in to Alpha Xi’s temporary house in the Fraternity Complex.

“I was just disappointed we weren’t in the house already,” said Steele. “It kind of broke my heart.”

Though Alpha Xi Delta members are relocating their rooms in to the house, construction crews and the college’s maintenance staff still need to do some additional work for the house to truly be finished. For example, Alpha Xi Delta President Kim Dwyer pointed out flaws in the construction of the house, like mismatched wallpaper and a round hole the size of a golf ball in an upstairs window, which Reck alludes may be related to vandalism.

“Construction sites are always targets for vandals,” said Reck, “although we’ve not have any major issues and we’re very pleased with that.”

In addition, the porches are still unfinished, the lawn of mostly mud needs to be seeded for grass and the Alpha Xi Delta letters need to be put on the outside of the house. Reck and Alpha Xi Delta have put these and other issues on a “punch list” for the construction crew and the college’s maintenance staff to fix. For the girls of the house, one of the issues is the hanging of the chapter’s composite pictures.

“They’ve already determined where they’d like to be hung,” said Reck. “[House Manager] Michelle Hutchinson put in a work order.” However, in an effort to cut costs, the basement was left unfinished.

If the chapter wants to have it finished, they will have to pay for it, which Reck sees as unlikely because the house will ultimately belong to ZBT. In the original plans, the basement was to serve as the chapter’s meeting room. Instead, the main living room will be used for meetings with a nearby sub-closet inside a closet to hold chapter equipment.

“We were very careful to address the needs of the organization,” said Reck. “It does amuse me that there’s a secret closet inside a closet.”

Other than those details, the house is finished and has five quad-style bedrooms, which each have an individual bathroom, a furnished living room and informal lounge, a fully functional kitchen, and a coat room. Altogether, 19 women can live in the house.

“It’s much grander than I thought it would be,” said Alpha Xi Delta member Annie Soto. “The woodwork is phenomenal.”

The house was modeled after Zeta Beta Tau’s former Woodbine House, which was torn down because it was “no longer suitable to be used,” said Reck.. ZBT members revered the old lot as a memorial and will move in to the reconstructed Woodbine House after a house is built specifically to house Alpha Xi Delta.

“I’m honored to take care of the house until they live in it,” said Steele. “I’m friends with a lot of those boys. It’s kind of something we have in common.”

Alpha Xi Delta will live in the house until the chapter can raise enough money to build a permanent long term chapter house for the fraternity. Zeta Beta Tau will move permanently into the current house once they also raise the money to pay the school for the house.

Within the next month, Alpha Xi Delta will hold an open house to show off the house to the community and local alumni and hope that they will soon begin the process of filling the house, hanging composite posters and buying essentials for the house.

“We have this really nice kitchen,” said Dwyer, “but no pots and pans.”

The house was built because of a housing crunch and the need for additional women’s housing. While the college had originally planned to build the houses as quickly as possible, Reck said that there is no timeline for the construction of new houses for the remaining seven Greek organizations on campus.

“It’s something we’ve been working towards for the last four years,” said Steele.

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