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New Fiji house going up, taking shape

  • Jan. 26, 2016

Editor's note: This story from The Bloomington Herald-Times is being published here as a courtesy for readers of IU in the News.

By Michael Reschke

The new, 52,000-square-foot Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house at Indiana University is under construction in the historic University Courts neighborhood. Construction began last spring after five houses in the neighborhood were moved and one was demolished to make room for the new building. The fraternity, more commonly referred to as Fiji, is moving from its current location at 631 E. Third St. after a deal was struck with IU and approved by the university's board of trustees in the summer of 2014.

IU's 2009 master plan recommended returning the buildings in the campus's Old Crescent neighborhood, where the existing Fiji house is located, to academic use. Two buildings in the Old Crescent, Kirkwood and Franklin halls, are being refurbished into academic buildings after years of administrative use. While no specific plans have been made, gaining possession of the existing Fiji house property will give IU the flexibility to expand the Maurer School of Law building or Swain Hall, which are located on either side of the fraternity, said Tom Morrison, vice president of capital planning and facilities for IU. In exchange for the Third Street property, the fraternity was allowed to build a new house at East Eighth Street and North Woodlawn Avenue.

The design calls for using Indiana limestone from local quarries, according to a report Christine Matheu, an architect working with Cunningham and Associates Inc., gave to the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission in October 2014. The building’s faux slate roof, double-hung metal windows and stucco finishing on non-limestone walls were designed to imitate other on-campus structures and neighborhood architecture.

The fraternity owns the property at Eighth and Woodlawn, and Phi Gamma Delta's Zeta Chapter House Corp. is in charge of the construction project.