ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia paid two fraternities nearly $2.4 million to move from their houses.
UGA officials moved five fraternities from along South Lumpkin Street and plan to build new homes for the UGA School of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Terry College of Business and other academic buildings in the area.
Contracts with fraternities released by UGA last week show that the university paid Chi Phi fraternity $1.75 million to move from its house at 290 S. Lumpkin St. Kappa Alpha got $600,000 to move out of its house at 294 S. Lumpkin.
Both fraternities used the money to finance new or planned houses off-campus.
Chi Phi bought the historic Arnocroft House and its two-acre lot at 925 S. Milledge Ave., where it hopes to build a new house and use the Arnocroft House for other purposes.
The money Kappa Alpha got helped to pay for building a new house on West Hancock Avenue, where the chapter moved earlier this year.
Three other fraternities on South Lumpkin settled for slots in a new Greek Park on East Campus scheduled to be completed in time for fall semester rather than finance their own houses to replace the homes they will lose.
According to UGA officials, most of the old houses, all on UGA-owned property on Lumpkin Street, needed serious repairs.
Instead, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Kappa Alpha and Tau Epsilon Phi each reached 30-year agreements to move into new houses financed by the UGA Foundation. The old houses are to be demolished, likely in August.
Two of the fraternities agreed to pay the foundation $87,620 per year for a 20-bedroom house in the new fraternity park near Sanford Stadium. The third, Phi Delta Theta, will pay $43,810 per year for a 10-bed house, according to contracts released by UGA under an open records request by the Athens Banner-Herald.
Another fraternity will move into a fourth new house in Greek Park but will pay considerably more for its lease.
Sigma Nu - which lost a River Road house to fire in 2000 - agreed to pay $125,840 a year for a new, 20-bed house in Greek Park.
"We couldn't be more pleased to return to River Road, where we were for more than 50 years," said Michael Barry, a member of Sigma Nu's Home Association. "I think the move over there is a positive thing for everyone."