Kappa Alpha house demolished

Ian Lucas and Cristhian Herrera , Staff Reporter and News Editor

Cristhian Herrera
After being disbanded in early January, the KA building was finally torn down. 

The Gamma Upsilon order of the Kappa Alpha Chapter’s house, which was located next to the Rayburn Student Center, was torn down earlier this month. A source on campus said the chapter was disbanded from campus early January 2016 for academic and conduct reasons.

Jody Todhunter, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, recalled his time in the house when he belonged to the fraternity.  

“I lived there for two semesters which was required for undergraduate members when I was in school,” Todhunter said. “I knew the house was eventually coming down, but seeing all the rubble when it did finally come down made me pause for a second to reflect on time spent there and the memories created at that house.”

Todhunter said the “mansion” was a place where brothers could stay even when classes weren’t in session. “The KA mansion was home to brothers who didn’t get a chance to go home during the holidays,” Todhunter said. “If you chose to go to summer school, you knew you had a place to stay.”

Today, the house has been reduced to a pile of wood and brick that sits adjacent to the student center. According to Derek Preas, Director of Campus Operations and Safety, the lot will be utilized for the Rayburn Student Center.

“The student center, specifically for Sodexo, grew rapidly and ran out of room,” Preas said. “The KA house is a prime location where we could put up a facility, parking lot, or storage area for Sodexo and use of the student center.”

Although the specifics for the lot has yet to be determined, Preas said that he is certain it will be a combination of parking and storage.

There are currently 19 to 22 structures that surround the university that are in the process of being demolished. This “Commerce beautification” project is a collaboration involving the city of Commerce and the university and will include long-term amenities down Bois D’Arc street.

“But that’s just in the rough drafts right now and you won’t see any development happening at those homes (just yet),” Preas said.