Theta Delta Chi at the University of Washington

The Campaign for Xi Deuteron: The Renovation Begins

-- Jeff Weiner ‘91, Campaign Co-Chairman and Larry Sarchin ’77, Renovation Coordinator

 The Xi Deut Charge House version 2.0 will begin this June with the renovation you have all been hearing about for several years.  With generous contributions from our capital campaign coming in, we have detailed sets of plans, an architect (Scott Labenz ’94 of Grouparchitect in Seattle), a general contractor, and a construction start date.

While the overall lines and the exterior appearance of the house will not change, the renovation will address 98 years of wear and damage, starting with Phase One, which will remodel 90 percent of the house exterior. This phase, starting in June, will replace the roof with a type of membrane roof called TPO, replace all the soffits (roof overhang), put on new cementitious siding (like Hardibacker, for those who have done a little remodeling), and replace nearly every window in the house with new thermopane windows.  These windows are designed to make it impossible for even the most determined resident to fall out. The front columns will be repaired and the house painted. This work is expected to be complete before school starts this fall. The cost for Phase 1 alone has been penciled out at $630,000. The house will remain open during Phase 1, since most of the work is outside.

Phase Two, estimated at $1 million and scheduled for Summer 2015, will repair and upgrade the interior public spaces of the house. All electrical panels will be replaced. A sprinkler system will be installed in the entire house, including each residential room.  There will be new lighting in most public areas and new frat-proof plywood backed walls installed in the hallways and stairwells, so those ubiquitous holes punched in the walls, the bane of house managers since time began, will be a thing of memory. The substance on the stairs which used to be carpet and now feels like thousands of Post-it notes will be replaced with rubberized treads like you see in commercial buildings, and we are looking at Marmoleum flooring for the hallways. The main-floor bathroom will be gutted, expanded, and replaced with a toilet stall, urinal, two sinks and vanity, and three private shower stalls. The women’s head on the first floor (dining room level) will also be remodeled with new plumbing and fixtures. A landscape plan for the front is being developed, and handicapped access with a lift to the side of the front porch will be installed to comply with ADA regulations. Last, and most cool, will be a double-sided, stone-clad gas fireplace on the site of the old living room fire pit. The house will most likely be closed for construction during Summer 2015.

Phase Three, scheduled for 2016 and possibly continuing over several years, is a room-by-room remodel of every active’s room. We are looking at framing out into the attic so that each third floor room in the original house has a sleeping loft. We are developing a set of configurable plans for typical rooms with a selection of paint colors, flooring, and some built-ins, such as overhead bunks and study areas. Over time, groups of rooms on each floor will be gutted to the framing, and walls and ceiling replaced.

We have raised $860,000 in total pledges ($820,000 in cash plus $40,000 of in-kind donations for architectural services and the like) to begin a complete renovation of the Charge House. To date, $291,000 has been received with $529,000 remaining to be collected over time.  Over the last two years, campaign funds paid for a much-needed total renovation of the second and third floor bathrooms at a cost of $130,000.  In addition, we spent $40,000 on engineering, architectural plans and other pre-construction costs for total expenses of $170,000 so far.

You don’t have to do the math to see that there is a substantial gap between the Campaign and the estimated completion cost for the total renovation. The Xi Deut Corporation Board is now working on the financing, most likely a mortgage loan from a commercial bank, to fund the shortfall between cash on hand and project total. We will also look into private placement loans from individual alumni or investors. And, to ensure steady, predictable repayment of obligations and a realistic future maintenance schedule, the Corporation Board has engaged S&T Fraternity Management Corp., a professional property management firm, to handle the full range of duties including rent collection, repairs, and bill payment.

The Corporation Board plans to post progress reports regarding the campaign and renovation to an updated version of xideut.org this summer, and we will keep in touch with alumni by way of regular articles in these newsletters. We will also be organizing donor events so that alumni can see, in person, the progress made on our house renovations as a result of the many pledges made by scores of Xi Deuteron brothers.  We could not have even started the project without the donations some of you have already given.

If you have not yet made a campaign pledge the rebuilding of Xi Deuteron needs your help to ensure we have a safe and comfortable home for the future.  Please join our Honor Roll of donors by contacting our Campaign coordinator, Greg McElroy (phone 914-582-6466; McElroy174@aol.com), or you may also contact, Jeff Wiener, at jweiner@fdic.gov.  

Entering our Second Century

Xi Deut's white house just north of the University of Washington is a landmark of the campus, looking much like the West Portico of the real White House in that other Washington.  From its start in 1909 as a local fraternity with three men, Xi Deut has grown to one of the largest and strongest Theta Delt Charges in the West, hosting four spectacular International Conventions (in 1956, 1977, 1998 and 2013) and winning numerous fraternity awards for the strength of its brotherhood.