The baseline scope of the renovation calls for an $800,000 investment into the DKE House by DKE. This investment covers the cost of a commercial kitchen and dining room to provide the residential dining experience central to the DKE experience as well as reconfiguring student bedrooms on the second and third floors towards single and suite style room configurations, which is the trend in college housing today especially for upperclassmen students (all Rho Dekes who live in the house are upperclassmen). It also provides for our unique considerations with preserving the Chapter Room as well as significant social spaces in the basement. Important features in the baseline unique to the DKE House include:
- Commercial Kitchen, Dining Room, plus attached residential kitchen
- Unique DKE experience of in house residential dining
- Attached residential kitchen provides access to late night food without the commercial kitchen
- Re-oriented so it will be much harder to break into the locked commercial kitchen, which should be unnecessary anyway thanks to full residential kitchen
- Common areas to host parties, host chapter meetings, social gatherings, networking events, etc. for large groups of people (100-200)
- Absolutely required for a social fraternity like DKE
- Reduces the building’s occupancy per square foot
- Increases the cost per bed
- Storage areas for student use and fraternity property (same sub-bullets as above)
In addition to the baseline scope to preserve the DKE House as we know it, there are several add-alternatives in design that are contingent upon DKE fundraising (with up to $100k funded by the College). These additions are:
- Solarium (Rampant Lion Den)
- Provides much needed second story common area integrated with student rooms
- Increases the footprint of the building onto March Field
- Provides covered, usable outdoor space in front of the DKE House on March Field
- Brings natural lighting to third floor to make the DKE House feel more like home
- Creates common area on the third floor in the form of a study nook
- Creates a significant aesthetic improvement
- Rampant Lion Weather-vane
- Upgraded facade enhancements to better brand the DKE House on March Field
These are all elements the Steering Committee believe will help the DKE House reflect the strength of our great fraternity and be a chapter house that all Rho Dekes can be proud of. They will also significantly improve the competitive standing in terms of living space in DKE compared to the rest of Lafayette’s housing options (including other fraternities).
Lafayette College owns the DKE House, and they always have. DKE has been on an evergreen annually renewing lease first negotiated by Duncan Andrews in the ’60s, and recently renegotiated by Michael De Lisi ’03 and Peter Carlson ’02. In acknowledgement of DKE’s help in renovating a college owned building, the College entered into an agreement with our House Association that covers the next 40 years. We cannot understate how substantially this campaign improves DKE’s situation. These considerations were under discussion from the very beginning of the campaign and were recently codified in writing.
We are pleased to announce construction is currently underway with the full renovation scope including all alternates contingent on DKE fundraising!