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The Lyre, Summer 2011 / Summer Projects

Corner Officeby Aggie Smith Steiner, National Housing Corporation President
(Beta Eta, Florida State University)

The last time I wrote, I shared some of my current favorites with you—The Blind Side, a red carnation and the color red. Let’s continue that conversation…

My favorite season is summer. The days are longer; the sun shines brighter; people tend to smile more; life seems to slow down.

Growing up, I looked forward to summer and still do! Floral sundresses with white sandals; sweet-tea and freshly squeezed lemonade; freedom from school and classes; family trips to the beach.

The lyrics of a Nat King Cole song sum up what I used to think of summer:

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer/Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer

Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies/Then lock the house up, now you are set/And on the beach you will see the girls in their bikinis/As cute as ever but they never get ‘em wet”

It never occurred to me that people actually worked during the summer months. Now that I serve as the National Housing Corporation President, I know the truth.

The work of our dedicated housing volunteers and professional staff does not stop when school is out. Major maintenance and renovation projects are planned for summer completion, so that our collegiate women do not have to deal with construction schedules and the inevitable noise, dust, workers and life interruptions that accompany housing projects.

Here’s a snapshot of just some of our summer 2011 housing projects:

  • Zeta Nu, Texas A&M University, is being updated inside and out—paint, landscaping, redecoration.
  • New laminate flooring is being installed throughout our Gamma Omicron, Marshall University, chapter facility.
  • Beta Tau, Miami University, is adding new storage and meeting spaces for their executive board.
  • Redecoration projects are scheduled for Beta Delta, College of William & Mary, and Zeta Eta, Bradley University.
  • We are partnering with the University of Pennsylvania to update the kitchen and an upstairs bathroom in our Alpha Epsilon facility.
  • New energy efficient windows are being installed in the Epsilon Phi, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Gamma Rho, Texas Tech University, houses.
  • An energy audit is being performed in the Epsilon Eta, Stephen F. Austin State University, chapter house.

Here are some even larger projects:

  • New house construction is underway for Delta Pi, University of Tennessee. The 11,000 square feet facility is the first house for this nearly 50-year-old chapter. The Greek Revival style home will sleep 52 women and includes gracious formal and informal entertaining spaces, study rooms, separate executive board and house mother suites, a commercial kitchen, and outdoor terraces.
  • Pi, University of California-Berkeley, will be refreshing their kitchen and kitchenettes with paint, cabinets and floors. Additionally, work outside includes the removal of a tree that damaged the fence in their outdoor patio area and installing new gutters and downspouts.
  • Omega, Washington State University, is replacing flooring in individual sleeping rooms; painting rooms and hallways; and repairing a leak in the computer study room, which requires taking out and then replacing the stairway under the deck.
  • Alpha Psi, University of California-Los Angeles, is adding insulation to their house, installing energy efficient windows and tackling bathroom renovations.
  • Kappa Nu, Carnegie Mellon University, will be moving from their current location to a new University owned property on campus. As this facility is a former men’s fraternity house, there is much work to make this “frat house” into a welcoming sorority home. All common spaces will be updated—living room, study area, kitchen and basement— with new paint, design and décor.
  • On the national scale, our headquarters staff is completing the House Director Guide this summer for fall distribution to facilities associated with a house director.

Whew! So, when do our housing volunteers and staff get to enjoy the lazy days? Candidly, I am not sure we do. What I do know is that we love what we do and those for whom we work. Our single mission is to support all things housing for all our members.

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