At their March 22, meeting the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors approved a plan to expand the campus' existing Greek housing community, Oak Lane, through a unique partnership between the university and individual fraternity and sorority chapters.

The new plan is different than previous campus residential construction projects because of its innovative approach to design and funding.

With this plan, each interested fraternity or sorority chapter will work with the university to design its own house. This will allow chapters to have houses that are uniquely theirs constructed on the university campus. Houses will be designed to suit the individual chapters, but must have a capacity of 32 to 44 beds and be built to commercial and Commonwealth of Virginia construction standards. The cost of each house is anticipated to be in the range of $2 million to $4 million.

In order to build a house, the chapter or its house corporation must make tax deductible contributions to the Virginia Tech Foundation of approximately one-third of the total project costs for the house it has proposed. The total of the contributions must also include a 7 percent administration fee, bringing the approximate contribution needed to 35.6 percent of the house cost. Through debt financing, the university will provide the other two-thirds of the cost of each house as well as the infrastructure and site development costs.

Each house will be owned by the university and will become part of Housing Services’ residential system along with the current Oak Lane houses.

However, because of the debt financing structure, residents would not be required to purchase dining plans. Chapters may elect to offer their own in-house board plans or students may purchase a dining plan through Dining Services. The university will cover the operating expenses for the houses, including the costs for live-in staff.

Similar to the current rate structure for fraternity and sorority housing in Oak Lane, residents will be charged individual room fees by the university, which will be comparable to the room fees charged for newer university residence halls such as New Hall West. The actual rate for each house will depend on the total facility cost and final bed count.

Site development and construction of the new houses will not begin until certain requirements are met. At least three chapters must commit to the plan before physical site development work will begin and individual houses will not be constructed until the contributions to the Virginia Tech Foundation account reach the required one-third of the project cost.

“We are excited to offer this unique partnering opportunity in an effort to expand and strengthen our fraternity and sorority housing program,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Edward F.D. Spencer.

Virginia Tech’s office of Fraternity and Sorority Life provides guidance and support to 65 nationally affiliated fraternities and sororities.