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MSU sorority planning may switch course

November 24, 2012

Two lots near Mississippi State University’s sororities, its Clay Lyle Entomology Lab and Bully Boulevard may become sites for new sorority development, pending sorority representatives’ decisions.

The sororities have asked MSU about starting construction at these locations to Sorority Row’s north in lieu of previously planned locations to its south on an incomplete circular drive.

Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs, said these sororities will remain anonymous until they choose between the new location and the originally planned location.

“One is an existing sorority and the other will be a new sorority,” Kibler said. “Both groups are still in the process of working through a number of issues in trying to make their decisions. Since no decisions have yet been made about whether to build or where to build, we believe it is premature to provide their names.”

Currently, MSU has completed the east end of a circular drive near the Delta Delta Delta house, and MSU Provost Jerry Gilbert said the university’s plans were originally to center new sorority development around this circular drive.

“We have two lots on the inside (of this circular drive) we’re making available, which would be options for these two sororities, but they want to go to a different location,” Gilbert said.

Instead of using two lots in this area, Gilbert said, the sororities approached MSU about developing two lots between the Delta Gamma house to the east and the Clay Lyle building to the west.

A north-south road currently travels through the center of this space, he said, so the new option would require significant alterations to the area’s road infrastructure.

“(The road in the center would) be taken out, and then we would have to redo the road that goes by Clay Lyle and reconnect it just before Gast (Boll Weevil Research Lab) to the parking loop,” Gilbert said. “We would make that more of a throughput road; we would let (the sororities) develop the area that is split by the current road. The new boundary (of sorority properties) would be the road that goes by Clay Lyle. They would have to put in new substructure.”

It was announced at the October MSU Faculty Senate Meeting that the MSU Master Planning Advisory Committee approved the new development plan, but on one condition: The sororities would have to pay the expenses for road redirection themselves with oversight by MSU architect Tim Muzzi.

“We are waiting to see if they want to pay that cost or if they want to go to one of the lots we already had for expansion of other sororities,” Gilbert said.

If the sororities do choose to pay the extra expense and redirect the roads, Gilbert said the result will not be inconsistent with the university’s master plan. MSU had planned to develop new sorority property to the area’s south, he said, but development is likely to spread north toward Clay Lyle eventually.

“We just haven’t gotten to that stage,” Gilbert said. “We know that over time, we’re going to need more space for our fraternities and sororities.”

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