NPHC house to open September following delays

Future residents are being temporarily housed in the old Zeta Tau Alpha house and the 210 house

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NPHC house to open September following delays

The new NPHC house will be the largest on Greek row, pictured here behind the recently completed Zeta Tau Alpha house. (Photo by Hunter Long)

The new NPHC house will be the largest on Greek row, pictured here behind the recently completed Zeta Tau Alpha house. (Photo by Hunter Long)

Hunter Long

The new NPHC house will be the largest on Greek row, pictured here behind the recently completed Zeta Tau Alpha house. (Photo by Hunter Long)

Hunter Long

Hunter Long

The new NPHC house will be the largest on Greek row, pictured here behind the recently completed Zeta Tau Alpha house. (Photo by Hunter Long)

Sam Zern, Managing Editor

The new National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) house on Greek Row, originally slated to be occupant-ready by student move in, is set to open in mid-September barring any further construction delays.

The house will serve the seven NPHC chapters on Vanderbilt’s campus. Students who planned to live in the house this semester are being temporarily housed in what used to be Zeta Tau Alpha house before ZTA moved into a new space this semester, and the 210 house while they wait for their permanent residence to open. 

“As a senior, I honestly was not surprised that they were behind on construction, as they seem to be quite often when it comes to construction. What I was disappointed about was the fact that I will have to move a third time since returning back to campus,” Gil Barksdale, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. said. “As a member of the Vanderbilt football team, I was required to live in Kissam during the summer and had to temporarily relocate to the 210 house. I have yet to fully settle in, which is frustrating as I want to start making my place feel like home. On a different note, Vanderbilt’s communication has been exceptional, specifically the Office of Greek Life.” 

The NPHC house will be the largest on the row at three stories, with two floors dedicated to residential suites and a ground floor meant to serve as a community space. Director of Greek Life Kristin Torrey attributed the house’s construction delays to the size and scope of the project, as well as challenges with material deliveries and mechanical systems.

Additionally, Torrey said, construction started late across the West End Neighborhood this year as a result of permitting issues. To date, the Metro Nashville Planning Department has issued 7,531 building permits this year. 

“When you look around the city, we aren’t the only people trying to do some construction right now,” Torrey said. 

Arriving back on campus to construction is the new normal at Vanderbilt, as the university continues to make progress on FutureVU, the long-term land use initiative. Last year, students living in the newly-constructed E. Bronson college hall were able to move in on time, but had limited access to their building and as a result saw their residential experience fees waived. The same will not happen for those who were unable to move in to the NPHC house, as the housing cost is the same as a non-residential college cost. 

The NPHC house isn’t the only delayed construction on Greek Row. Delta Kappa Epsilon, Lambda Chi Alpha and Kappa Sigma are all getting new houses this year. Originally, the houses were to be completed by December and occupied in January. According to the most recent West End Neighborhood Newsletter, DKE will still be open for students in January, while Kappa Sigma and Lambda Chi Alpha are said to be completed in “late winter,” with no indication of when they will be ready for residents. The timeline on the new community event space was also pushed back from January to March 2020. 

Students can keep up with weekly construction updates at the Layton Construction website

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  • The new Zeta Tau Alpha (left) and NPHC (right) houses, as seen from the green. (Photo by Hunter Long)

  • Kappa Sigma is slated for completion in late winter. (Photo by Hunter Long)

  • Delta Kappa Epsilon is slated for completion in late winter. (Photo by Hunter Long)

  • Construction continues along Kensington Ave. and Vanderbilt Place. (Photo by Hunter Long)

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Despite the delays, students are excited about the coming space. Harold Brown, a coordinator for NPHC and other culturally based Greek organization in the Office of Greek Life, said the advocacy of previous generations of students helped make the NPHC house a reality, and that students were involved in designing and planning a house that would meet their needs. 

Last year, the women of the NPHC sororities resided in a former fraternity house on Greek Row, while the men retained the historic Delphi house on the West Side Row. With the new construction, the Delphi house will no longer serve the NPHC organizations and the plots that line the front of the house and denote each chapter’s history on campus will be moved to the new site. 

“I decided to move into the house because I saw a great opportunity for our fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. to increase our on campus presence and our relationship with the other NPHC organizations,” Barksdale said. “I plan to make our fraternity’s suite a place where our members can kick back and enjoy each other’s company. Additionally, the blueprint of the new house looks incredible and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to live in one of the nicer places on campus.” 

After students have moved in, the university plans to host an unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony for the house during homecoming weekend. Brown said that alumni are looking forward to seeing the new space and the progress that NPHC has made on campus. 

“This wasn’t a thing for a lot of them when they were in undergrad, so they’re really excited about the opportunity for this to exist in perpetuity as a space that can be utilized by their chapters,” Brown said. 

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