The Kappa Zeta Chapter, Georgia Southern University, has completed a total renovation of their chapter house. This was a five year project from fund raising, to conception, to the actual construction. The original house was completed in 1990 and while it still served the needs of the chapter it had become outdated and in some ways obsolete. Brian Dart, chapter AA, “The house was only 20 years old, but those are “fraternity years”; meaning the house had about 100 years of wear and tear.
The decision was made to completely change the architectural style of the house. The old stucco was removed and the front gable was re-designed to give the house a more traditional look. A new brick and stone façade, new columns, roof, new windows and doors were installed. “It’s as close to a new house as you can have without a total rebuild”, commented Gordon Clark, building committee member.
Energy savings was also a priority. The attic was encapsulated with three inches of foam insulation, dropping the attic temperature from 125 degrees to 85 in the middle of the Statesboro summer. The old gas furnace was replaced with an energy efficient electric heat pump. Motion sensor light switches were installed in the common areas, so lights will turn themselves off once no one is in a room. “Our guys would return late in the evening from their all-night study sessions in the library and leave every light on in the house. We burned through cases of light bulbs each year. Now it isn’t a problem’” said Chip Howard campaign chairman.
There are special touches that make the house unique to Kappa Sigma and Kappa Zeta chapter. The chapter benefitted from the expertise of the construction professionals on the building committee. “We were able to access vendors and materials that most would find difficult to source”, stated Phil Odom. The flooring manufacturer produced a perfect crest for the chapter room, and KS letters for the trophy room. The bronze crest and letters on the front gable were inspired by our national headquarters. We added two date stones in the columns on either side of the front steps. The “1400” honors the founding of Kappa Sigma, and the “1968” commemorates the founding year of Kappa Zeta chapter.
The crown jewel of the project is the 2000 square foot auxiliary building used for social functions, rush events and philanthropy projects. With the concrete floor complete with drainage, a twelve foot open plenum ceiling, three inches of insulation, and wooden walls almost ½ inches thick the “Party Barn” is indestructible and virtually noise free. “Last spring the chapter held a band party, the doors were closed, and you couldn’t hear a thing from the street”, Kevin Pierannunzi Chapter GM.
Kappa Zeta is obviously very proud of their new home. It’s an example of the chapter and alumni working together towards a common goal. The chapter is positioned to continue as a Champions Chapter Quest and the leader of Greek life at Georgia Southern University.
To see pictures of the house go the photo section of this web site.