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2008 Chapter News

March 19, 2008

Chapter House For Sale

After long deliberations, the house corporation, advised by Jerry Balka ’51, voted in March to place the PA Alpha Delta chapter house on the market and field offers for its sale. This was not a decision that was come upon easily. The chapter has called the John Stafford Mansion at 2000 North Broad Street our home since 1969.

Many factors contributed to this situation. In spite of great effort and continued negotiations by the IHQ and alumni association, the university has decreed that chapter will not be able to return to campus as a recognized entity until 2010. The unfortunate reality is that without a stream of income from an active chapter, the alumni association has no hope of keeping up with the mounting costs of maintaining the chapter house.

Financially, years of undergraduate mismanagement and delinquency left us deep in the red. As of 4Q 2007, the chapter had over $100,000 in liabilities to utility companies and mortgage debt. Over the past year alone, the alumni association has loaned the house corporation over $6,000 for repairs, back taxes, and other related expenses needed just to maintain ownership of the property.

The condition of the house does not bode well for our ability to obtain financing or insurance. An architectural study commissioned in 2007 indicates that any meaningful renovation to the property is cost prohibitive.

To compound our troubles, the department of Licenses and Inspections has taken a keen interest in the property, visiting with unusual frequency. In February, L&I cited the property for safety violations to the roof and exterior. Jerry Balka ’51, represented the fraternity at this hearing, which resulted in an agreement to make long-term repairs to satisfy L&I violations.

With the housing market in decline and growing financial liabilities, the house corporation felt the need for a  practical and expedient decision. Sale of the property would allow us to expunge back debt and put the house corporation in a position to obtain a new house for a new beginning of Pi Lambda Phi in 2010.

Pi Lam has changed locations before, and we will survive and thrive in a new environment again. It’s not the house that makes the fraternity; it’s the fraternity that makes the house. I hope you will support us in these endeavors.

If you have questions about the house, please contact Fred Brehm ‘84, President of the House Corp or Mike Naegele ‘89, President of the Alumni Association.

Page Updated: 3/20/08