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Brenau sorority houses come down to make room for replacements

POSTED: August 3, 2014 10:30 p.m.

Demolition begins on Brenau University buildings Friday along Prior Street. The space will be used for new construction of sorority houses along the street.

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Demolition has begun to make way for new construction at Brenau University.

Crews are in the process of demolishing four sorority houses and two dormitories as part of a project that includes four replacement sorority houses, a new residence hall, an athletic complex and a new anatomy lab.

The nearly $10 million project includes around $8 million from the sale of revenue bonds, along with $1 million in additional funding for the athletic complex and $965,000 for upgrades to the electrical grid needed to proceed with construction. Brenau will pay monthly installments on the bond funding over a 26-year term.

Construction of the sorority houses is expected to be complete by spring 2015, and construction will begin as soon as demolition is complete.

"The sorority houses are replacing existing houses that have lived their life," said David Barnett, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Brenau. "The houses that are there now are at an age where it’s more feasible and a better decision to demolish and replace them than to refurbish."

Four two-story houses accommodating 17 students each will be built in their place.

The new residence hall is expected to be completed by December 2015 and is currently in the permitting phase. Barnett said the residence hall will replace the two dormitories being demolished. It will be three stories with room for 70 to 90 students. Like the sorority houses, Barnett said the buildings are too old to feasibly refurbish.

"They are the oldest buildings on campus," he said. "It won’t be an expansion but a replacement." Barnett didn’t know exactly how old the buildings were.

The athletic complex to be built along Jesse Jewell Parkway will include a softball field, parking and public use areas.

The new complex, Barnett said, is "necessary to be able to provide facilities, especially home facilities, for our expanding athletic program."

The athletic complex is expected to be completed in spring of 2015, but construction will not begin until the design and permitting process is completed.

The expected completion date for the new anatomy lab is December of this year.

Barnett said the lab will support the university’s expanding health occupations programs. He said the anatomy and physiology, physical therapy and occupational therapy programs will especially benefit from the new lab.


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