Construction delays force students out
Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:09 pm in News
For some sorority members looking for housing on The Row, living in the Theta Xi house seemed like a good choice ‚ÄĒ until construction on the house fell behind.
Though slated to be completed Aug. 1, construction on the Theta Xi house was delayed by the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency until the end of September. With the holdup, the students who had leased spots in the house ‚ÄĒ members of Theta Xi as well as members of various sororities ‚ÄĒ have been forced into the Radisson for the first weeks of school.
Construction on the house started earlier this year, but the CRA stepped in and halted construction, hoping to preserve the house‚Äôs original 1908 construction.
Eric Foss, president of Theta Xi, said the fraternity had received permission to reconstruct the house from the city of Los Angeles, but they never contacted the CRA. Foss said the CRA stepped in as soon as they heard about the reconstruction.
‚ÄúThe CRA came in and they said, ‚ÄėYou changed the house, you have to stop working,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Foss said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs where we‚Äôre at right now.‚ÄĚ
Despite Theta Xi‚Äôs efforts to complete the construction in time, the CRA halted all advancements because it did not approve of changes made to the fa√ßade of the house.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre held up in the conversation of safety versus style,‚ÄĚ said Foss, a senior majoring in critical studies. ‚ÄúWe have to change the style of the front of the house a little bit because it wasn‚Äôt structurally sound. That‚Äôs the reason [our house was condemned] in the first place [by USC], because we were breaking fire codes.‚ÄĚ
Foss said negotiations with the CRA are pending.
The CRA could not be reached for comment.
Though construction is now nearing a close ‚ÄĒ students should be able to move in before the end of September, according to Nick Wright, vice president of Theta Xi and a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering ‚ÄĒ those who had planned to live in the house are currently staying in the Radisson.
Theta Xi currently has 13 active members and four alumni waiting to move in. They are also renting out spots to about 30 other people ‚ÄĒ including members of the Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta sororities.
Katie Kroopnick, a member of Delta Gamma, said moving into the Theta Xi house is a good alternative to living in the DG house because of the difficulty finding a spot there. She added, however, that temporarily living in the Radisson has been an inconvenience.
‚ÄúEveryone else has been able to get settled and we‚Äôre living out of suitcases,‚ÄĚ said Kroopnick, a sophomore majoring in sociology. ‚ÄúThe Radisson isn‚Äôt really set up for students. There are no desks and no Internet.‚ÄĚ
Jonathan Gilde, secretary of Theta Xi, said the house delay has caused an inconvenience with the fraternity‚Äôs rush plans.
‚ÄúWe have to put in a lot more effort to make rush happen,‚ÄĚ said Gilde, a junior in the interdisciplinary major program. ‚ÄúTo make a great rush, it‚Äôs really making things difficult.‚ÄĚ
Gilde said rush is proceeding as usual, but the members must bring supplies over from their rooms at the Radisson, which makes the process more difficult.
Presently, the members of Theta Xi and the other students planning to move into the house are paying for the Radisson through several different means.
As part of the contract with the construction company, the company must pay a penalty fee for every day they continue construction past the original Aug. 1 deadline. Wright said the fee money, donations from Theta Xi alumni and rent payments from the eventual inhabitants are being used to pay the Radisson rent.
Though residents will be moving into the house in about two weeks, finishing touches ‚ÄĒ such as installing carpeting and painting walls ‚ÄĒ will still need to be made.