UA Under Construction: New Greek Houses, Fashion Building

Reghan Bailey and Sarah Clifton 

The University of Alabama campus will undergo several extensive construction projects, including two new Greek houses and a fashion and design building that is already underway. 

Sigma Kappa, a panhellenic sorority at the University, was recently approved for a new house, which will occupy the space left vacant after the demolition of Harris Hall and the old Alpha Gamma Delta house between April and mid-July. Drummond Lyon Hall will also be built in the space next to the new Sigma Kappa house. 

Sigma Kappa Chapter House

The sorority currently occupies a “swing house” located at 923 Magnolia Drive. The building is intended to house an organization only temporarily and is often utilized when current chapters’ houses are undergoing renovations. When the new Sigma Kappa house is complete, the swing house will remain available for a new chapter to potentially occupy, though no new official occupants have been named.  

The $21 million project, approved in June by the University of Alabama board of trustees will provide Sigma Kappa with 40,000 square feet of space and the ability for “the chapter to comfortably accommodate the projected chapter size and the growing Greek community,” according to project manager Michael Hand’s statement on the building plans.  

Construction plans detail that the house will feature three stories and a basement. The new construction is expected to increase bed spaces from 40 to 66 and dining hall space from 150 to about 300.  

The new Sigma Kappa house will be located at 890 Judy Bonner Drive, on the northeast corner of Colonial Drive and Judy Bonner Drive. 

The project is currently in its design phase. The house is projected to be complete by the fall of 2025. 

Alabama Panhellenic Association expressed their enthusiasm for the new building.  

“We are excited that Sigma Kappa will be moving into a new house. The new house will better accommodate the growing size of the chapter and allow them to better serve the needs of its members,” said Hannah Hale, president of Alabama Panhellenic Association.  

UA’s Sigma Kappa chapter declined to comment on the construction of their new house. Sigma Kappa Sorority National Headquarters declined to comment.  

Kappa Sigma Chapter House 

Kappa Sigma, a fraternity on the University’s campus, will also receive a new house in the lot between Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Alpha on University Boulevard. 

Courtesy of the University of Alabama

The 15.2 million dollar and 28,000 square foot project, approved in mid-September, aims to give the fraternity the ability to expand their chapter, since their current house on Jefferson Avenue does not aptly fulfill their needs. 

 “The existing house does not adequately allow students to gather efficiently for study hall, collaboration meetings, meals, chapter meetings and recruitment events,” the project manager, Lane Weaver, said on the building plans. “Constructing a facility that is comparable to newer fraternity houses will meet the needs of Kappa Sigma by providing more adequate space for these items.” 

After the construction of the new house is completed, their current Jefferson Avenue house will be transferred over to the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, which is currently located off-campus.  

There has been no official announcement about when construction will start or end for the new Kappa Sigma house.  

Kappa Sigma declined to comment on the construction of their new house.  

Sigma Tau Gamma declined to comment on moving on-campus after construction on the new Kappa Sigma house is complete.  

Drummond Lyon Hall  

Construction began on Drummond Lyon Hall on Aug. 8, after the demolition of Harris Hall and the Old Alpha Gamma house had been completed. Drummond Lyon Hall will house courses for the College of Human and Environmental Sciences, primarily fashion and design classes.  

Per the project’s proposal, the new 25,000 square foot facility will “support the goal of enhancing the teaching and learning experience of the Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design Department and the Fashion Archive, as well as adding the necessary features to accommodate the expected growth and teaching needs of these programs.”  

On Sept. 16, the University celebrated the development of the new building at a ceremony at Doster Hall.  

Construction is set to end July 16, 2023.