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On September 9, more than 20 Phi Sig alumni returned to State College for the kickoff of our capital campaign, a $1.5 million project to renovate the house interior. Though the Nittany Lions fell defeated to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, spirits were high, as it was announced that $600,000 of the $1.5 million goal has already been pledged to date.

Our Saturday meeting started with greetings from John Shaw '29, who we contacted this past week to find out what it was like to move into the house when it opened in 1927. Mr. Shaw turned 100 this past January and he still lives in the house that he and his wife built 50 years ago in Falls Church, VA. He said that they felt very proud and fortunate to move into our house at 501 S. Allen St. almost 80 years ago.

We have to renovate the house now, and we don't have the luxury of waiting. The house is simply not up to code and 21st Century standards. It becomes more decrepit and less safe each month. We need to rebuild the house to make it more attractive to rushees, desirable and safe for the actives and a nice place for alums to want to visit their brothers.

Due to the State College mandate, we have to install sprinklers by September 2008. This requirement helped propel our project, as it will require ripping out of walls and ceilings, so we decided to do a more complete renovation.

We have chosen our architect, Anna Childe, who manages the State College office of
Weber, Murphy and Fox located next door at 403 South Allen Street, Suite 115, State College,PA. Weber, Murphy and Fox is headquartered in Erie, PA with offices in Cleveland, OH, State College and Pittsburgh. They come highly recommended. In addition to fraternity renovations for Pi Kappa Alpha and Kappa Delta Rho, WMF also designed the MBNA Career Services Building
on the Penn State campus.

Weber, Murphy and Fox has determined that our foundation and outside walls are strong and the walls are square. Our basement has been impervious to water intrusion. So the money we raise will be used almost totally in much needed inside renovation, and an update of the plumbing, electrical and heating systems.

The campaign leadership committees include brothers from every decade since the '50s. We have discussed our project with brothers from every decade since the 1920s, and these efforts have resulted in nearly $600,000 in pledges made during our "quiet phase".
Pledges are paid over a five year period, although you have options as to who to pay during the five year period (e.g., monthly, yearly, etc.). Our "public phase" was launched when we circulated our public brochure.

To complete a decent renovation that will make a difference, we need at least $1.2 million, and our goal is $ 1.5 million to include some other needed items.

In parallel path, the Board is working up a set of Standards of Conduct to address the alumni Board's expectations of the actives and a state of the art lease. This will help ensure that both the actives and the alums are clear on expectations and goals regarding how the house is operated and the actives' conduct.

We had a good mix of attendees at our Sept. 9 meeting, with alums from the 50s through the 1990s in attendance. We got good feedback on our presentation and the direction we are going. The bottom line is we need everyone's help in order to meet our financial goal, so we can help ensure the house will last another 50-80 years. Brother to brother calls work best, and Sept. - Nov. will be crucial for securing pledges to make the project a success.

Click here to view photos from the meeting.