Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Cookeville Regional Medical Center have entered into an agreement in principle for a land swap targeted to go into effect May 2013.
The land swap will be an even-for-even trade, the 158 W. 7th St. property, where the fraternity is currently located, for three lots at 423 Peachtree Ave. that are currently owned by CRMC, chief financial officer Paul Korth told the Herald Citizen in August 2011.
The goal for the move is 2013. The fraternity will be allowed to remain at their current location until May 2013 and by the beginning of the following fall semester the brothers will be able to move into their new house, according to both MichaelJoyce, SAE alumnus and the Herald Citizen.
CRMC recently acquired the residential property next to the SAE house, according to the master plan provided by Joyce and Providence Iota Archon.
All the streets along the 7th St. property surround the hospital and will be enhanced in order to begin developing new entrances to the hospital.
This will place all the fraternity houses, with the exceptions of Kappa Alpha and Tau Kappa Epsilon, on Peachtree Avenue and North Walnut Avenue, which will change where students might hang out in years to come.
“As a social fraternity, we didn’t have the grounds to fight for the land so we knew we had to move,” Joyce said. “I wanted [the new house] to be close to the campus, close to the other fraternity houses, and a house that was capable to be a fraternity house.”
In 2001-2002, the city was working on an expansion plan for the hospital and an active member of the fraternity had family on the planning committee. In turn, the fraternity members knew they would eventually have to move.
Original plans were to have the brothers of SAE moved into their new house before now. However, they were unable to raise the necessary $400,000, SAE alum Bobby Williams told the Herald Citizen.
Joyce said that the economic downturn helped them out and allowed them more time to come up with those funds.
Joyce also said that not just one person has been in charge of communicating with CRMC and the planning process. Rather, there have been four or five members leading and many committees have been formed to act on the hospital’s behalf.
Although the fraternity has yet to hire a design team or architect, they would like the new house to be larger. There are also other issues that must be resolved before the fraternity could move into the house.