Since re-establishing a chapter at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1999, members of Kappa Delta sorority have shuttled meetings between sites on and off campus.
For five years, the coeds met in a former storefront in the Doctor's Building on McCallie Avenue. Other years they were found in the University Center.
Now the 100-member chapter has moved into its permanent home: a 4,527-square-foot, $950,000 chapter house built on East 10th Street.
Kappa Delta is the first sorority to open a lodge on the new Greek Row being developed by Roy Williams. The area will eventually house five Greek chapters.
"Many alumnae have dreamed of this day, and now it is a reality," said Alice Davis, one of two Kappa Delta alumnae to serve as interior designers for the building project. The other was Peggy Violette.
The house is a two-story structure that houses 12 women. The house also can accommodate all of the sorority's members in the large chapter room, Davis said.
The chapter meets in a living area that is 30- by 40-feet with a 10-foot ceiling. The large room is cheerful and welcoming with walls painted in a soft, golden tan.
"Since it is such a big room, we wanted to break it up a little with a coffered ceiling," said Bill Worley, builder.
The ceiling has been treated with a faux finish in a swirl of blue and white that suggest clouds and sky. The finish was created by a chapter member and her mother, Pruitt and Karen Holmes.
On one end of the room is a dining area; on the opposite, a seating area facing the fireplace with granite hearth. Drapes in a 15-inch-wide, gold-green-and-blue stripe flow from windowtops to the floor.
Oak flooring runs throughout the house, with the exception of the baths and laundry room, which have ceramic tile.
To contrast the oak flooring in the kitchen that adjoins the living room, maple cabinets were finished in a rich toffee hue. Countertops are Verde Butterfly black granite.
To accommodate a large number of women, the kitchen is well-equipped with two separate work areas, each with its own full sink. There are also two microwaves, a range, refrigerator, pantry and extra counter space.
A tumbled-tile green-and-cream backsplash accents the room's cheery green walls.
The main floor also includes a two-story entry foyer, guest bath, handicapped-accessible bedroom and bath, storage area beneath the staircase, and large laundry room complete with two washers and dryers and granite-topped work counter.
Upstairs, there are six bedrooms and three baths. The bedrooms are outfitted with cherry-finished loft beds, with built-in desks and shelving beneath them. The house is wired for Wi-Fi.
Connections for wall-mounted TVs have been wired into the walls above the loft beds to save space.
Each bath connects two bedrooms. The baths feature maple cabinets with cultured marble countertop on the vanity. All baths and kitchen cabinets were designed by Classic Cabinetry.
Security and safety for members were a priority in the planning, said Davis and Amber Goins Roberts, KD house corporation president.
In addition to emergency lighting and the expected sprinkler and fire alarm systems, every chapter member has a remote, electronic keyfob that opens the front door. This prevents copies being made for nonchapter members.
Girls living in the house have a second keyfob that opens the back entrance leading from the second-floor's staircase to the back parking lot.
Worley said more than two dozen "green" features were included in the new home for energy efficiency. Among them:
* Two tankless water heaters.
* PEX piping known for its "memory." Worley explained that PEX is more energy-efficient than copper because if a freeze causes the piping to expand, it returns to its correct size as it thaws.
* All exterior walls sealed at floor and roof and all electrical outlets in exterior walls sealed and gasketed.
* All windows are equipped with energy-efficient glass.
* Tyvek Housewrap and flashing eliminate moisture or drafts.
* Low-flow kitchen and bath faucets, shower heads and toilets conserve water.