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Alexandra Saizan

Tulane Chief Financial Officer Tony Lorino said that the university is working with the Pi Beta Phi house to accommodate their house during the upcoming library renovations.

The university currently owns the two lots that surround the Pi Phi house. The Tate House, where the Study Abroad office was formally located and a gray building used by the law school will both be torn down so that the land can be used as a staging area for construction. As of now, the renovation will not use the Pi Phi property, since the university does not own that area.

“We’re gonna take the two properties that Tulane owns,” Dean of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Lance Query said.

Lorino said the university does not need the Pi Phi property to complete construction. It is still interested in purchasing the property, however, to ease the process.

“We are currently in discussions with the owners to see if we can interest them in relocating to another site that the university currently owns,” Lorino said.

The university has offered the owners of the property a choice of two locations, both on Audubon street. The house is managed by a housing corporation separate from Pi Phi. No women from the sorority’s advisory committee are currently on the housing corporation’s board, though the chapter will have some input in the decision.

Director of Fraternity and Sorority Programs Liz Schafer said the construction will not greatly affect the Pi Phi house, and its owners would have little incentive to move.

“I don’t think noise is going to be a major issue because nobody lives in that house and the majority of the activities they have there are after the construction will have taken place,” Schafer said. “It’s not going to be as bad as some people anticipate because it’s not going to be pile-driving going on or anything like that. We don’t think it’s going to be a major concern.”

The university will also attempt to make the house more accessible to Pi Phi members as construction is going on.

“They’re going build us access places so we can still get in,” Pi Phi President Tory Skinner said. “They want us to be as non-inconvenienced as possible.”

Lorino said that living in the house during the construction will be unpleasant.

“I can’t imagine that they would not rather be somewhere else and have to endure that,” Lorino said.

Alumni advisor to Pi Phi Ashley Nelson said that to her knowledge, Pi Phi intends to stay in its current location.

“We’re not looking to go anywhere,” Nelson said. “We’re not moving.”

The university has offered to purchase the Pi Phi house before.

“[Tulane] has been trying to buy our house and the Kappa [Kappa Gamma] house for twenty years,” Nelson said. “If I was Tulane, I’d want to buy our house too.”