Greek Housing Project
The Greek Housing Project kicked off in October 2010 as a series of conversations about the trends in fraternity and sorority life and housing nationally as a way to enhance the experience for the nearly 1,500 fraternity and sorority chapter members at BGSU and to respond to an aging housing system. The project plan that emerged identified three phases:
- Phase I. Getting smart about both the current state of fraternity and sorority programs and facilities at BGSU and comparing those to best-in-class examples nationally.
- Phase II. Determining what requirements a new community will have, balancing desired amenities with rental cost, and designing a housing blend that is a best fit.
- Phase III. Finding the right partners to make the plan a reality and completing construction.
What to Expect in Phase III
The Board of Trustees authorized moving into Phase 3 of the project at the December meeting. Phase 3 is the actual execution portion of the project that could span 36 -42 months and will include:
- Formally soliciting a design and construction partner (i.e., the developer) for the project;
- Working with the developer to refine the floor plans of the 4-bed, 12-bed, and 18-bed townhome prototypes and how the project will be situated along Wooster Street (i.e., the current location of Old Fraternity Row and Conklin East and Conklin West);
- Updating the financial pro forma to reflect actual costs, rental rates, and common room usage fees (i.e., parlor fee);
- Submitting a finalized proposal to the Trustees’ for authorization to secure financing and to proceed with demolition and new construction;
- Engaging each participating chapter concerning interest in any upgrades to common areas and/or special requests regarding unique customizations;
- Addressing interim housing needs for chapters displayed by demolition and construction; and
- Celebrating the opening of new Greek facilities for fall 2016.
Milestones completed in Phase II
- Solicited extensive feedback from students, alumni, and (inter)national constituents concerning organizational needs and expectations for new chapter facilities
- Created and revised construction prototypes based upon feedback obtained
- Projected estimated costs for each construction prototype
- Outlined financing options associated with each construction prototype
Identified possible site locations for a new Greek Village
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History on Prior Phase(s)
Phase I concluded in June 2011 when the Board of Trustees approved the team to proceed to Phase II. Important information was collected during the first phase, including:
- The existing fraternity and sorority housing stock would take nearly $20 million to upgrade, approximately 75% of the cost to replace. The renovated units would still have architectural and functional limitations, inconsistent with new housing development.
- Although BGSU has strong fraternity and sorority participation (10% of the student population), membership has been declining in the midst of national growth and BGSU chapters are smaller than comparative chapters.
- BGSU has best-in-class programming, however this has contributed to the largest overall budget and cost per member in a comparison of peer institutions.
- A number of housing and financing models are available. It is likely that a blend of options will be necessary to meet student needs and build a sustainable financial model.