Chapter History

The Need for an Addition On To Vance Hall

When Vance Hall burned in 1996 our graduate brothers, including many of you, contributed a total of $1.2M to rebuild the house. That generosity, along with $1M in borrowed funds, resulted in an up-to-date and welcoming chapter house that has allowed us to carry on the traditions and friendships that we all experienced as undergraduates. Since that time we have repaid the mortgage and reinvested substantially to keep the facility in good repair, but we are now out of space. Our membership has grown from fifty-five to seventy-five and we need larger dining and social space. Your House Corporation several years ago asked the undergraduates to work harder on rush and increase the size of our pledge classes to an average of twenty which they have down consistently over the last four years. The undergrads have now called on the House Corporation to increase the common space in the house given the limitations we have with zoning and our property boundaries.


The 1998 building plans for the reconstruction of Vance Hall included a deck out the rear of the house overlooking what was our very special back yard. In order to qualify for a Special Use Permit the Town of Chapel Hill made us turn the backyard into a parking lot and we ran out of time and money towards the end of the construction and did not get to the rear deck. The Town also made us build an elevator shaft in the middle of the house (but did not require us to install an elevator) and the new stairs to the basement are in the middle of the house both of which took away our ability to have a dedicated dining room. Our old party space in the basement now doubles as a dining room, but we can increase both our basement dining and party space by building a deck off the back that was originally included in the redo plans.


The planned addition will be 58’ X 18’ across the back of the house which allows us to have an open deck accessed from French doors at the rear of the first floor. Underneath the deck will be a 1,044 square foot enclosed space that will serve as an addition to the party room and dining room. We will break through the rear wall of the basement to make the new space an integral part of the existing basement. And lastly we will restore the back yard back to its original glory as the best outdoor space on campus with a patio in the corner and a place for our female guests to sit atop the wall. We will also take this opportunity to expand and add additional seating to the chapter room in the basement which as you might imagine is a tad tight for seventy-five brothers.


We broke ground on the addition as soon as school was out after Mother’s Day and the steel is about to be set. The project is scheduled to be finished around the end of September in time for the Homecoming game and Parent’s Weekend in early November. The cost of the entire project will be $500K and we need your help in defraying that cost so that we don’t have to remortgage the house. I hope each of you will, to the best of your ability, join your brothers in supporting this improvement to our house. It has been over twenty years since we have asked for your help for capital expenses or upkeep on Vance Hall, but we sincerely feel that this project is worthy of your support. You may make your check payable to Epsilon of Phi Gamma Delta Education Foundation and mail it to me at 1829 East Franklin Street, Suite 800E, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. On behalf of the undergraduates, your fellow graduate brothers, and the House Corporation, we very much appreciate your generous and continued support of Epsilon. Hope to see you in Chapel Hill soon.


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