If you're looking for a place to take the family on a quick trip without spending a ton of money in gas, Jamestown is an ideal spot for a One Tank Trip. More >>
If you're looking for a place to take the family on a quick trip without spending a ton of money in gas, Jamestown is an ideal spot for a One Tank Trip. Located on the Cumberland Plateau halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, the town has lots to do and see.More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee will soon welcome its first sorority women as Sorority Village opens its initial round of houses for the fall semester.
In a little more than a month, a number of UT students are set to move into one of the largest construction projects on campus.
"It will be a real asset to the campus, particularly on the northwest corner as you enter the UT area. You'll be able to see this as something people will notice," said Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration.
University officials expect between three and six of the houses will open in time for fall classes, which begin August 22.
UT expects seven houses to be completed this fall, with as many as 270 women living in the development by the end of the semester.
The village will consist of 13 sorority houses and one administration building.
University officials say the project is on track for a completion date during summer 2013.
Crews broke ground on May 1, 2011, but construction on some of the house was sidetracked by contractual issues.
"Individually, we have 14 different projects, 14 different houses, so with multiple contractors, designers. It could create problems as we go through this complex process," Maples said.
The village is located next to two busy roads: Neyland Drive and Kingston Pike. To combat traffic, the university plans to add a traffic light to the Neyland Drive entrance, along with an overflow parking lot at the UT Visitors Center.
There are also plans to enhance the university's bus route from Sorority Village to the main campus.
"There will be a very vibrant bus service coming here each day from morning to night, so students who park here or live do not have move their car," Maples said.
For safety issues, the village will have gated access, security cameras and assigned police officers will patrol the premises.
Student IDs will be necessary to enter each of the houses.
"There are quite a few different resources put into this whole facility to ensure the safety of residents," Maples said.
Officials estimate close to 500 residents will live at the village once construction is complete.
The Panhellenic building, the main meeting facility for the campus sororities, will remain open until the Sorority Village construction is complete.
After that, UT's ROTC program will move into the building during summer 2014.
The chapters with houses opening in this first phase are:
Alpha Chi Omega
Kappa Delta Delta Delta
Delta Alpha Delta
Pi Sigma Kappa
Kappa Kappa Gamma
Chapters are funding their houses in full through private donations and mortgage agreements that will be paid through rent and chapter fees. Each house is estimated to cost between $3 million and $5 million.
Once construction is complete, the total private investment in Sorority Village is expected to exceed $45 million.
Houses were bid as separate projects through the state Building Commission, and UT is managing the construction contracts.
The houses range from 9,000 to 17,000 square feet, with the largest houses accommodating up to 48 women.