Phi Gamma Delta house construction finishes as year begins

Construction began on the house shortly after the fire on Aug. 30, 2017. Adding the cupola was the finishing touch to the house.

Almost a year after the Phi Gamma Delta house caught on fire, construction has finished and is ready for the upcoming students to live in.

The house caught fire Aug. 30, 2017 and the final touches to the house finished July 10. It is still unclear how the fire started.

“We honestly don’t know what started the fire,” said senior John Paradise. “The fire department couldn’t find anything that definitely caused it.”

There is speculation that a couch caught on fire due to an electrical short.

“By logical conclusion, it was raining that day, which sparked an electrical outlet on the back deck igniting a couch,” said Phi Gamma Delta president Luke Christensen.

One addition added to the new house is the cupola on the top of the house.

“(The cupola) was a donation from a graduate brother,” Christensen said. “There was an original cupola that was ruined but was restored.”

Christensen said donations from graduates are being used to add fencing and stone steps.

The eight students living in the house during the time of reconstruction, including Christensen and Paradise, relocated into the Oak Ridge apartment complex. The students lived rent free for two months.

Paradise said the Phi Gamma Delta members are relieved to have the house back for the younger members.

“It feels incredibly relieving to have the house back and enjoying it with our brothers,” Christensen said. “We want to show the community how big of a positive impact we have have for them and this new house emphasizes the idea.”