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Delta Gamma breaks ground on building, renovation project

Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Gamma at Ole Miss has broken ground on its multimillion-dollar building/renovation project.

The groundbreaking ceremony was May 31, and when construction began it marked the culmintion of nearly three years of planning and design, along with cooperation from the University of Mississippi.

Growth from a collegiate chapter size of 300 just five years ago, to more than 450 members today, necessitated the significant expansion of the Delta Gamma house.

The numbers are tracking the explosive growth at Ole Miss, which is projected to continue into the foreseeable future.

In the early fall of 2013, Delta Gamma collegians and alumni began to assess how to better serve its growing membership. The first step was to initiate a survey of the entire chapter, all of the advisers, and house corporation. This survey was a guide in designing the house. Priority has been given to enhancing and increasing space for studying, meeting, dining and living, per the results of the survey. Overall, existing square-footage will be almost doubled to accomplish these goals.

The north wing will be demolished, a basement excavated, and three floors erected above. The remaining space will be totally renovated. Of utmost importance is improved life safety, ADA access and energy efficiency. The entire house will again be sprinklered, an elevator added, a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system and energy-saving lighting installed throughout.

Alumni has been involved in great numbers, especially in the capital campaign, with the fundraising goals boosted three times.

The original south wing of the Delta Gamma house, built in the 1930s, represents the first sorority house constructed on the Ole Miss campus, and as such, is the oldest. When planning for expansion, organizers considered all alternatives, such as moving to another lot or total demolition.

They decided to retain and renovate the south wing.

Delta Gamma was founded in 1873 in Oxford at the Lewis School, a few blocks away on University Avenue.