Our Plan

(click on photo to see enlarged view)

The South Dakota Sigma Chapter House Association and undergraduate leadership have developed a solid plan to address the long-term viability of the SAE experience on the USD campus. Through careful study, assessment, and planning for the past three years, it has been determined that something must be done since the house is now over 50 years old and is on the verge of being closed down by the fire marshall. We now have an opportunity to build a new fraternity house, which has not been done among the Greek community at USD since the late 1960s. Working with an architect, a construction company, and other alumni in this profession the past few years, the Chapter House Association has developed a tactical approach to our future.

Project Highlights

  • Build a new house on the land that is currently the parking lot of the Madison St chapter house
  • SD Sigma currently owns land across the street from the Dakota Dome
    • Sell that land and apply proceeds to new house construction
  • Suite-style living competitive with Coyote Village and off campus housing
  • Install recommended safety systems, including sprinklers and fire-rated, self-closing doors
  • Install energy-efficient heating equipment, insulation, windows and doors
  • Provide a comfortable environment with air conditioning, heating, and plumbing systems
  • Maximize study space, including areas for individual and group study, as well as wireless Internet access throughout the facility
  • Install latest academic technology equipment, secure outside access points and monitoring to provide a safe and secure facility, and to protect alumni investment
  • Site details: to include ample parking, proper lighting, and landscaping for structural durability and aesthetic appeal
  • Out building and patio areas: alumni gatherings and chapter entertainment areas
  • Basketball and volleyball courts 

Estimated House Project Costs

  • Architect and Engineering Fees: $180,000
  • Fundraising Costs: $200,000
  • General Construction: $3,500,000
  • TOTAL: $3,880,000 (does not include demolition and parking costs)

Location Selection

Significant discussion centered around the final decision as to where the new chapter house would be built. For quite some time many of us thought the location would be located across from the DakotaDome on Dakota St. A variety of reasons led to the ultimate decision of rebuilding in the parking lot of the current location. In summary:

  • In Spring 2016, the city of Vermillion relaxed an ordinance that required parking to be connected to student housing.
    • Prior to this, the lot size of the current house or the empty parking lot would not have been large enough to faciliate a chapter house AND a parking lot
    • With the relaxed ordinance, a paved parking lot will be permitted to be built across the street from the newly constructed chapter house
  • The property across from the DakotaDome is zoned commercial, after meetings with the city of Vermillion it was determined that rezoning the land to the appropriate use for a chapter house would be a substantial hurdle to overcome
  • Value of the DakotaDome land is substantial....the proceeds of selling the land has a big impact on the financial viability of the project
    • The property of the existing location could of course be sold, but the value is nowhere near the potential sale price of the DakotaDome lot
  • Staying at the current location keeps proximity to other Greek Houses a closer distance
    • Any concern of seeming "on an island" out by the DakotaDome were real and heard from many brothers