Greek Village in the works

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    Worth Hills Village will be the name of the soon-to-be reconstructed Greek area of campus.

    This project began Monday, Sept. 19 and, when finished, will not only include new Greek houses but new residence halls, a dining facility, a parking garage and new landscaping, Craig Allen, director of Housing & Residence Life, said. 

    Current students would not see renovations in the near future, but they would see “what currently exists be taken down and something new built in its place,” Allen said.

    The construction of Worth Hills Village is going to be broken down into three phases, Allen said. Phase one will include the establishment of new dormitory buildings in the grassy knoll area of the Greek. Phase two will include a parking structure, dining facility and possible renovations to Colby Hall. And phase three will include the construction of new Greek housing for fraternities and sororities, Allen said.

    Phase one is expected to be completed sometime between January 2013 and August 2013, Allen said. He also said construction on new sorority and fraternity housing would not begin until August 2014 or August 2015.

    Students on campus now would most likely not be able to live in the new Greek housing, Allen said.

    “When you think of the scope of this project, this is a huge multi-year project,” Allen said. “We’re talking about a project that will take us from 758 beds to close to 1,900 beds, add a parking structure and a new dining facility over a four to five or however long year period. That’s a massive project.”

    Greek students have been wanting new housing for a long time, Kelsey Bailey, sophomore biology major and Alpha Delta Pi chapter residential assistant, said. However, it is understandable that TCU is bringing in a lot more students, and there is not much room for them right now, she said.

    “Realistically, we have to build the new stuff before we can take the old stuff down, so it will be built in phases,” Allen said.

    The only part of the Worth Hills Village project that has construction plans at this moment is the new dormitory buildings that would be built in the grassy knoll area of the Greek, Allen said.

    “None of this is 100 percent final,” he said. “There are still board approvals, funding and a lot of things that have to get lined up. Eventually, it will become very concrete.”

    The only part that is concrete is phase one, Allen said. These new dorms would consist of three separate buildings that would have suite-style living areas and house primarily sophomore and junior students.

    Utility work began on Monday to install the electric and sewage systems, Allen said. Due to the construction of these new buildings, parking, sidewalks and roads may be affected.

    “My one note of caution would be that the excitement for the final project will probably need to be tempered with the realistic expectation that there will be some inconvenience that will come with it,” Allen said. “There will be sidewalks that will be closed. There might be changes in parking. There will be some noise. There might be dust.”

    The final budget has not been set, but the budget for phase one is estimated to be between $30 million and $35 million, Allen said.

    “While I’m disappointed that I won’t be here for the new Greek village as it comes in, I’m excited for the Greek community and the opportunities that [it] will present and the culture that will be created by having that real, authentic sort of Greek environment,” Blair Hancock, a junior marketing and entrepreneurial management double major and Pi Kappa Phi risk management chair, said.

    The news of dorms being built in the grassy knoll area of the Greek came as a disappointment, Hancock said. Having that openness and sense of community was something that was valued, he said.

    Hancock said he was even more disappointed to find out about the new dining facility that was a part of the Worth Hills Village project.

    The one current main dining hall brings students together and gives students the opportunity to meet people, Hancock said. The main thing to look forward to is each sorority and fraternity having its own independent house.

    Student input is something that TCU Housing values, Allen said.

    Housing had a focus group meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, where they had several TCU students sit in and discuss their opinions, Allen said. They discussed what they would like to see in the new housing from common area study lounges to laundry rooms and unit sizes.

    “Even if the students here today don’t ever live in it, they will be very proud to come back and see it,” Allen said.

    Updates will be posted on the TCU Housing & Residential Life website and on the Facebook page as well, Allen said.