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Around the Columns

Knock it down, build it up

BETA house construction

A new Beta Theta Pi fraternity house rises at 520 S. College Ave. Photo by Mary Fama

In spring 2011, workers finished demolishing the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at 520 S. College Ave., and work has begun on a 45,000-square-foot structure scheduled for completion by fall 2012. The building will feature a two-story great hall for dining and socializing, Wi-Fi, a library, bedrooms for 105 students (plus 20 in the existing annex) with private bathrooms, a conference center and an auditorium.

As of August, the fraternity’s capital campaign had netted $8.1 million toward its goal of $10 million by the end of 2012. “The previous house, built in 1959, had served the Beta Theta Pi chapter well for the past five decades with a location and facility that were the envy of other fraternities,” says Dave Spence, BS HE ’81, of St. Louis, who directs the capital campaign. But growth in membership and students’ need for new learning technologies prompted the chapter to commission a new structure.

View construction progress at