Challenges, Plans & Solutions
As enrollment has grown at the University of Arkansas, we have watched the Panhellenic community grow rapidly as well. Our chapter now boasts over 400 collegiate members, and is the largest Pi Phi chapter in the nation.
Extensive research was conducted by the Chapter House Corporation and other dedicated alumnae to determine what was next for our house that we had outgrown and was in need of major updates. The Building Committee hired WER Architects/Planners out of Little Rock as the architect for our new home at 502 West Maple and CDI Contractors as the general contractor.
The new Pi Beta Phi house addresses challenges in a comprehensive, cohesive manner. We have incorporated state-of-the-art systems throughout the house and increased the overall size by approximately 15,000 square feet allowing for significantly larger meeting, study and dining areas.
Issues that were addressed:
- Our chapter room had limited seating of approximately 150-175 members, so chapter meetings were held outside of the house. We have created a meeting space that can easily accommodate the size of our large and thriving chapter.
- Our dining room only sat approximately 120 at one time. With evening meals sometimes reaching 300, we needed additional space for dining.
- Our kitchen was outdated and in need of adequate space and equipment for regularly preparing and serving more than 200 young women at meals.
- Our house had no private dedicated study space for members. All studying took place in open, social areas of the house or in bedrooms. It is number one on our members’ wish list that dedicated study spaces were created.
- The inner workings of the old house – plumbing, HVAC, electrical, internet – were in constant need of repair and were all rarely working properly for the needs of the house.
Construction on the new home was completed in July 2016, allowing members to move in August of 2016, finishing on time!