Fiegen Construction was selected to construct new homes for two University of South Dakota (USD) Greek chapters–Alpha Xi Delta (AXiD) sorority and Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity. Both groups had outgrown their aging dormitories in Vermillion, South Dakota and would need larger facilities to welcome new students.
The Alpha Xi Delta chapter was established at USD in 1903 with the mission of inspiring women to realize their full potential. As membership grew, the sorority moved into a house at 214 North Plum Street in 1935. Since then, more than 1,000 members have called it home. When demolition of the old structure was performed in 2017 to make room for the new sorority house, members of the Greek community, USD administration and Alpha Xi Delta alumnae were in attendance.
“Rebuilding our house at 214 North Plum has special meaning for all of our alumnae,” says Chapter President Ashley Meiners. “This is the place where memories are made.”
Pictured above is the “Girls’ Kitchen” which is open 24-7 for snacks and quick meals.
The sorority’s new, 17,000-square-foot home is a two-story wood framed structure with a full basement. The house accommodates 58 students and one house director, and features an expanded dining room with full kitchen and capacity for 120-150 occupants, larger bedrooms with individual study areas, and room for the chapter to continue to grow their membership. The exterior siding includes a stucco pediment at the front entry for the placement of the sorority’s Greek letters. A large porch and four fluted columns complete the home’s Colonial architectural style.
Coming Home Campaign
Though Alpha Xi Delta raised more than $1 million through their “Coming Home: The Campaign for 214 North Plum Street,” the final budget of $2.3 million required considerable value engineering to accommodate the sorority’s needs. An additional challenge was the construction site itself, as it was located between two other Greek houses. Space was tight and the north side of the site required sheet piling to hold back the earth for crew safety. Finally, demolition and construction had to be completed in just 10 months so Alpha Xi Delta could welcome its students back in the fall and celebrate its 115th anniversary.
Thanks to Project Superintendent Terry Gavette, Project Manager Marshal Leifheit, Architect Lucas Fiegen, Structural Engineer Justin Christensen of RISE Structural, and Civil Engineer Jeff Boldt of Sayre Associates, the house was completed ahead of schedule in order for Rush activities to take place before the start of classes.
This same team will repeat their success with a new home for SAE fraternity at 856 Madison Street in Vermillion. Though still in the design phase, the project will involve the construction of a 17,000-square-foot contemporary style home, featuring bedrooms for 40 members, a dining hall that opens to a covered patio overlooking the backyard, and a formal living room with clerestory windows. A grand staircase will dominate the foyer and will lead to a second-floor game room and coffee bar. The exterior will include wood siding, steel, masonry, a metal roof, and large windows to complete its modern look.
Fiegen Construction is fortunate to be involved with greek life at the University of South Dakota, as well as other projects across campus. Our teams are currently renovating and expanding the USD DakotaDome, slated to be completed in July 2020 as well as the renovation of Inman House, which is nearing completion. Other significant projects at USD include the Sanford Coyote Sports Center and the USD Foundation Wagner Alumni Center. We are honored to help continue student growth and well-being at USD.