Simpson offers to build Tri Delta new house


by Kate Hayden

The Greek sisters at Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta) are in discussion with Simpson College over the possibility of leaving their current house for a brand new home.

The college approached the chapter early this year about moving so that Simpson could create more parking by the new Kent Campus Center.

The new house would feature more square footage, a larger guest bedroom and “just a larger living space,” sophomore Tri Delta president Annie Fullas said. “Everyone’s really excited for this opportunity.”

To keep up with the discussions, the chapter created a ‘pre-concept’ committee, made up of current collegiate members as well as Tri Delta alumnae and select Simpson faculty members.

The committee is working with Simpson and Des Moines architects in the beginning stages of the house design, which is currently proposed to be located near Pi Beta Phi on Buxton Street, across from Buxton Park and Barker residence hall.

“When we were looking at earlier plans for the house a lot of girls were thinking this looks more like an apartment, we want this to look like a home, not just like a regular old apartment building or something like that,” Fullas said. “That’s been addressed to the architects and also in these pre-concept meetings, and I think that committee is working so that it looks homey, so it feels like a house on the outside, whether that’s adding shutters or things like that.”

Chapter members have expressed concerns that things like the new house’s open air dorm on the third floor may not show as well during rush as the sleeping arrangements are seen as a negative among potential new pledges.

The current house is owned by the Delta chapter, which means that the chapter must fund upgrades and house maintenance on its own. As part of the new proposal, Simpson is offering to own the new house and take over house costs, an idea that not all of the Tri Delta sisters agree with.

According to Ken Birkenholtz, vice president for business and finance, no matter what the sisters finally agree on, the Board of Trustees must approve the final plan before any work is done.

“Ideally, we would like to have them move in to the house over Christmas break, but it’s hard to say,” Birkenholtz said. “To do that we’d have to be in the ground very early in the spring to start construction.”

Tri Delta alumnae have also been discussing the possible change with each other during alumnae meetings.

The chapter keeps its former members informed through their website, which includes an FAQ section about the proposal and contact information for house officers who can answer questions.

“I’m not sure if they get a say in the voting but they are concerned and they care for the future of our chapter,” Fullas said. “They’re definitely getting involved as far as that goes.”

Although the prospect of a new home is exciting to members, the idea of leaving the current one has left the sisters with split feelings.

“A lot of us are kind of sad because the house has so much history and it’s been there for so long, but on the other side we’re super excited because it’s a great opportunity for our chapter and our girls,” Fullas said. “To be in a brand new house, I think that’s something we’re very lucky to experience.”