When co-eds return to the LSU campus next month, they might be surprised to notice that one of Sorority Row’s landmark mansions has been demolished.
The Kappa Kappa Gamma house, which was an orange brick Acadiana-style structure with brick columns, third-floor dormer windows and a second-floor balcony overlooking the LSU Lakes, was torn down earlier this month to make way for a new house that will be rebuilt on the same site.
The total cost of the project will be some $9.7 million, which is being paid for entirely by the KKG organization.
The new house, projected to open in the fall of 2020, will be more than 25% larger than the old house, which was built in the mid-1960s, when most of the houses along Sorority Row were constructed.
According to minutes from the April 2019 LSU Board of Supervisors meeting, the old house no longer suited the needs of the local chapter. The new house, while it will house the same number of in-house residents, will have significantly more common area spaces where members can study and meet.
During the 14-month construction, the KKG chapter will use the Lambda Chi Alpha house on nearby Fraternity Row for meetings and gatherings, including the upcoming recruitment week, commonly known as rush. But KKG members will not live in the house, which has been vacant since Lambda Chi was kicked off campus several years ago.
The KKG house will be the second new home on Sorority Row in less than five years. In 2015, Alpha Phi, which colonized a new LSU chapter in 2014, built a $4.5 million, 18,000-square-foot house on a vacant lot adjacent to the Zeta Tau Alpha house.
While LSU’s sorority system is one of the strongest in the nation, the university’s Greek System as a whole has come under fire in recent years, primarily because of hazing and alcohol-related incidents, including the 2017 death of Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver, on the part of the school’s fraternities.
More than one-third of LSU’s fraternities are currently on probation or have been suspended or permanently kicked off campus. A former Phi Delta Theta member is currently on trial in connection with Gruver’s death.