There’s no place like home, and sorority women of UT Knoxville will soon have a place all their own.
Work is wrapping up on site preparation for UT’s Sorority Village on Morgan Hill. Construction of several of the development’s thirteen houses is expected to begin this summer. Working closely with the sorority chapters, the university hopes to welcome its first group of residents to Sorority Village in the fall of 2012. The remaining houses would be built over the next few years.
Thirteen of UT’s seventeen sororities will have residential facilities in the village. The university is funding a portion of the common facility, which houses administrative offices and meeting space. One sorority is funding the other portion to have a dedicated office and meeting space within that same common building.
The houses will range from 9,000 to 17,000 square feet and will each house up to forty-eight women. Each house is estimated to cost between $3 million and $5 million. Once construction is complete, the total private investment in Sorority Village is expected to exceed $45 million.
UT’s Board of Trustees approved a proposal in 2006 that set aside approximately twenty-one acres of university-owned property on the southeast corner of Neyland Drive and Kingston Pike, across from the university’s Visitors Center.
Sorority chapters are funding their houses in full through private donations and mortgage agreements that will be paid through residential rent and chapter fees. Alumni leaders of sorority chapters have been raising private funds for the project over the past several years.
“We appreciate the collaborative relationship with sorority leaders and our shared commitment to a high-quality development that will enhance what is scenic and historic land for the university,” said UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “Sorority Village will be a significant addition to our campus and the Knoxville community, as well as a great example of a successful private-public partnership.”
The individual chapters are responsible for their own house designs, which must conform to architectural guidelines set forth by the university. The development will be fenced and incorporate modern security features. Landscaping plans will highlight the village site and streetscape, with the goal of making the land as picturesque as it has always been. The village will have its own parking and will become part of the university’s T bus service.
For more than thirty years, UT’s sorority women have lived in several residence halls and used meeting space in the Panhellenic Building, which was built in 1963.