[asusig] Another Design Session at ASU Thu, 12 Dec 2002

Last night I attended another design session (6pm-7pm) presented by ASU, Century Development, the company that will manage the project, and the Architects from Gould-Evans that are designing the site which was in turn followed by a meeting address management issues of the site (7pm-8pm)

I did not hold out much hope that what they would be showing us would begin to address the numerous flaws in their design and they did not disappoint.

Some of the low-lights of the meeting

1. One of the telling moments for me was when Boyd Heckle (SigEp) asked the Architect (the same guy that I said I would have graded an "F" in my last email) making the presentation if he could discuss the philosophical difference in building a Fraternity House and a Dorm. He stuttered and stammered for a while and finally started going on about how fraternities were begun as study groups and lived on big plots of land in big houses but that the needs had changed and that besides the shape of a Chapter House differed from region to region. He of course did not indicate how he knows any of this or that he has looked at how our needs in this region have been analyzed and looked at.

2. Boyd also asked him to explain what the design criteria was that ASU supplied them with. Sally Rammage from ASU then stood up to start talking about this and Boyd told Sally that he wanted to hear it from the Architect not from ASU. He then gave a none answer.

3. In addressing the concerns on Chapter room size that were brought up in the previous meeting they showed various room configurations with furniture and walls, but did not address actual square footage as the design of the structure has not actually been changed. They showed how the room could be configured to accommodate tables for dining, couches for relaxing and chairs for chapter meetings. They did not show where all this furniture is to be stored when one of these three needs in being exercised.

He did try to show that by removing a room above the Chapter room that they could open up the ceiling to make the chapter room more airy. I asked the flippant question that "since we are unable to levitate how does making a high ceiling addresses the needs of square footage?"

4. They showed various pictures of buildings around campus to justify the exterior brick treatment that the clusters will be given so as to identify the buildings with ASU. I pointed out that I need the building to identify Sigma Chi not ASU.

They went off on a discussion that the Houses need to be part of a greater community and not to be individual kingdoms (or words to that effect).

The extent of our individual "branding" will be in putting a vote in as to weather the complex will have Greek letters on the side of the building (in either a vertical or horizontal arrangement or will the names be spelled out.

5. On a positive note they have deleted the walkways on the second and third floors that tied all the buildings together and have increased the elevators so that there in now one for every two buildings.

6. Two houses of 80 guys each will be sharing a single laundry room. This to me is an issue of concern.

7. There is still no parking and since that design criteria was not provided to them they will not be addressing it.

8. They have changed the bathrooms in the rooms to have showers instead of tubs.

9. To address the issue of natural lighting in the rooms they are proposing to use glass doors and for the rooms that are in the inner hallways without direct contact with the courtyard they propose glass walls too. Again they are building a dorm not a fraternity house.

The second meeting entailed providing ASU with a list of questions and concerns dealing with how the structure will be managed. Such as

1. How it is determined who gets to move in

2. Is the building classified as Fraternity Housing or Residential Life Housing (the alcohol policy is different)

3. Can the individual rooms have things built in them.

4. Is the building held by the House Corp which in turn licenses space to members or does ASU lease directly to the individual.

5. If all beds are not filled will ASU move random students in

And many pages more of questions. When the answers are supplied by ASU I will forward them on.

As for time lines to move in they are giving "right of first refusal" to the fraternities to be displaced on Old Row and they have to sign a letter of intent by the local Chapter, the House Corp and their Headquarters by March 1 as well as submit an applications. Selections will be announced in early April and individual license agreements will be due in May.

As for our ability to continue occupancy of one of these structures, should we decide to move to one (over my cold dead body), beyond a one year individual license agreement signed by our members with the University there is no guarantee and final authority to determine this will rest with the Vice President for Student Affairs there is no allowance for Alumni and house Corp input into the hearing or decision process.

Enough for now...