Update 3:45 p.m.:
The Indiana University Trustees approved today a plan to relocate and demolish homes in a neighborhood near the Bloomington campus to make way for a new fraternity house.
The plan, which is contingent on the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity raising enough money to build the new house, has raised concerns from residents who say the neighborhood, which is a designated historic district, will be marred if a fraternity house is built there.
Under the plan, four houses would be relocated and at least house would be demolished in the University Courts Historic District. The fate of another house is still unclear. The university is still working out plans that would determined whether it needs to be relocated or demolished.
The decision was unanimously approved by all members of IU’s Board of Trustees. It is still unclear whether or when the project would begin. FIJI, as the fraternity is commonly known, is currently fundraising for the new house. The project would start soon after the FIJIs achieve their fundraising goal.
The Indiana University facilities committee is recommending that the universities trustees approve a plan to demolish houses in Bloomington’s University Courts Historic District to make way for the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
The plan would be contingent upon the fraternity knows as the FIJIs to raise enough money to build a new house.
Bloomington’s University Courts Historic District is one of the National Register of Historic Places. The district has several old houses and the roads are covered in bricks, which preservationists say makes the district unique compared to any other neighborhoods around Bloomington.
The university wants to acquire the current FIJI house to build another academic building, so IU spokesman Mark Land says the university and Phi Gamma Delta negotiated and found the new location in the historic district.
“These existing homes, one of the things that we are really happy about is if the plan goes forward as we hope is that we will be able to move four of these homes on the lots in the immediate area that are currently vacant in the university. So, that would be a nice way for us to help renew and keep the general neighborhood thriving rather than having four empty lots which will have four homes on them that would help the entire neighborhood,” says Land.
However, the historic district’s residents like Jeannine Butler are not happy about the proposal.
“Well, obviously those of us who live in this neighborhood and those of us who have any interest in preserving historic places, we don’t particularly want another loud partying machine in our district. I think it’s a shame that IU has the ability to do as they please with their properties,” says Butler.
The IU trustees will vote on the plan at their meeting Friday.