Locked and boarded up since July for renovations, Pi Lambda Phi’s fraternity house, located at 2000 N. Broad St., is not expected to reopen until fall 2007.
Many renovations need to be made, according to Gary Sanders, director of Pi Lambda Phi’s chapter operations. Sanders mentioned a deteriorating wall and putting in new fire control
systems as two of the necessary updates for the house.
“The house is 110 years old. Things start to deteriorate,” Sanders said. “There are a few structural problems. It’s not an extreme danger at the moment, but it’s starting to be.”
The cost of future renovations is unknown at this time. The last renovation, costing $300,000, took place in 2001. Sanders said he considered that to be a small renovation.
“We’re still trying to get a handle on that, and we have so many different proposals that we really are not sure how much it is going to cost,” Sanders said.
The housing corporation, which works in conjunction with the fraternity, decided to close the house after making an inspection this past summer.
“It was an advised decision,” said Vice President of Pi Lambda Phi, Bill Pounds, a senior BTMM major. “We decided to take a break and get our stuff in order. There were just a few odds and ends that needed to be tied up.”
According to Pounds, who lived at the property prior to its closing, the move was not problematic for any of the brothers and no one had a problem finding a place to live.
“We had everything worked out. We just kind of took things as they came and went with the flow,” Pounds said.
The university ceased to recognize the Temple chapter of Pi Lambda Phi in 2004 after the fraternity was charged with a list of offenses by the University Disciplinary Council. However,
Pi Lambda Phi continued to retain its national charter.
“We didn’t agree with the university’s sanctions and how they went about certain things,” Sanders said. “We continued to recognize them, but they remained suspended by the university.”
In spring 2006, Pi Lambda Phi lost its national charter.
“They had a couple of histories with university management. They had been on probation from two years before,” Sanders said. “We thought it’d be best to disband them for reorganization.”
Members of the Temple chapter were all given alumni status within the fraternity before suspension. Pi Lambda Phi is working with university alumni in order to prepare Temple’s chapter to be readmitted into the fraternity.
Sanders said that it is not common for chapters to lose their charters, but not completely unheard of. “You get some guys who tend to do really well, and then others who don’t do so well,” he said.
Sanders said he hopes for the house to be in livable condition by fall 2007, when the Temple chapter of Pi Lambda Phi will most likely regain its national charter, and possibly its university charter.
“University recognition is the plan. Our intent is to get recognized,” Sanders said.
Pounds said it is a possibility “a new state-of-the-art facility” will be constructed, rather than renovating their former Broad Street property.
“That might be another path we will take,” Pounds said. “Either way, we’ll be returning stronger in the fall [of 2007].”
Although the fraternity is unsure of how much the renovations will cost, Sanders plans to keep the house as a part of Pi Lambda Phi.
“We’re going to explore all options. We’d like to stay at the house. It’s pretty unlikely that we won’t,” Sanders said.
Leigh Zaleski can be reached at email@example.com.