KA President David Johnson: “New house… new era”

The Gamma Tau chapter of Kappa Alpha Order (KA) at Sam Houston State University is eyeing a new stomping ground starting Fall 2018.

Plans are in the works to build a new two-story, nine-bedroom house, and will be built on the current location KA has owned since 1993. The new residence will cost around $700,000.

“I know the guys are excited and the alumni are excited about it,” KA Alumnus Advisor Ronny Snow said. “This has been 15 to 20 years in the making, so everyone is just excited. It’s been a long journey and we’re about at the end of it.”

The house will sit at 905 15 Street and will feature a heated and cooled area of about 4,600 square feet, according to Snow. The house will also contain 5,800 square feet under roof and will have a roomy back porch, which Snow said is one of the main attractions.

“All the bedrooms will be upstairs so the back porch will have that high roof over it coming off that second story,” Snow said. “When we have homecoming, and we have a bunch of alumni back, it’s going to be a really nice place for us to gather, and it’s going to be a really nice place for all the actives. We’re going to try and see about putting a big screen up.”

KA plans to bulldoze the current house. According to Snow, the fraternity has been battling continuous problems with the house due to its age. The original house was built by the Zeta Mu chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) in the 1960s, and KA acquired the piece in 1993. The fraternity recently had to tweak with the plumbing system due to the deteriorating clay piping, Snow said.

“It [the house] served its purpose,” Snow said. “We had to get rid of all the clay pipe so someone could live there this year, and it’s just served its purpose. We did look at the cost to renovate it, but it was just cost prohibited to try and do anything with it.”

The project is made possible by a loan from a bank in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The bank will help finance the project, and KA will run a capital campaign with its alumni to help pay back the loan in the next couple years.

“The national office has recognized the difficulty in building fraternity houses,” Snow said. “They’ve come up with this loan program where they help you get the loan and we’re very thankful we had the opportunity to get in that program.”

The house is expected to be finished in August, but Snow mentioned the project is on a “tight timeline” and could open in September at the latest. KA is hosting a Founder’s Dinner on March 24 to benefit the furniture for the new house. The dinner will be held at the Walker Education Center at 6 p.m.

“I think this [the building of a new house] will help KA kind of start a new era here,” KA President David Johnson said. “We came back and everything has been moving forward since then. This new house will allow us to keep that momentum. The new house will allow us to have everything that chapters need all in one place.”

The Gamma Tau chapter was first established in 1960, was colonized a provisional chapter in October 2013 and restored as an active chapter in April 2016. The chapter holds a 2.75 GPA and has roughly 25 members.

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