Men of Sigma Pi at long last the reconstruction of the 803 house is slated to begin. For those alumni that have not been in the loop on all of the many months of planning and discussions the following is a short recap of what we are undertaking, and why:
Many years ago Beta Tau challenged the city's zoning code in a lawsuit which resulted in the complete overhaul of the City of Valparaiso's zoning code. The City of Valparaiso now has very well defined and strictly enforced zoning code with a detailed map of zoning districts and their respective allowed uses. On this map our houses and lots are located in a NC60 zoning district. NC60 zoning is a “Neighborhood Conservation” district that allows for R-1, R-2 and R-3 Residential Family housing. Fraternity Houses are prohibited in areas of NC60 zoning. Since our use of the properties as a Fraternity house precedes the rewrite of the zoning code we are “grandfathered” in as an existing use. We cannot tear down the either of the houses and build a new one because we would break the grandfathered chain of continued use and the new building would be a new non-conforming use, which is prohibited. We are allowed to alter the existing structure to improve the livability as long as we do not increase the “bulk of the building or the number of dwelling units”. So stretching this allowance to its maximum potential we will be reconstructing the entire house.
We will be stripping the house down to the foundation and the first floor framing. We will keep the same footprint but will rebuild the second floor with full ceiling heights in every room. We will reposition the stairs and room configurations so we have eight, two man rooms (that do not require passage through another room) and three baths. We will be rebuilding all of the roof framing and install new roofs. There will be new siding, doors, windows, porches, insulation, drywall, interior and exterior trim and finishes, complete new electric, HVAC, and plumbing systems. We will essentially have a new house when we are finished. This project is not a remodeling project but rather a complete reconstruction of the 803 house. With every alumni brothers help we will get this project done. Covid has dealt us all a blow but I believe the strength of the Beta Tau chapter's alumni relationships will pull us through this. Men get out your checkbooks and be a part of the next generation of Beta Tau.