After five years of fundraising and blue print approval, University of Tennessee's "Sorority Village" is officially under construction.
Sunday afternoon, present and past members of UT sororities broke ground on the new $45 million dollar project. A couple hundred people witnessed the special day, then got a better look at exactly where the houses will stand along on a stretch of land near Kingston Pike and Neyland Drive.
UT is one of very few Southeastern Conference schools that currently does not have sorority houses. Although some say it's an unwelcome break in tradition, those involved say it's an exciting new chapter for the University and its female students. "I know that Tennessee is not like every other SEC school and people say we're conforming a little bit," explained Panehelllenic Council representative Lizzy Holt. "But I think it's going to be a new chapter of our uniqueness and the start of something new at Tennessee."
The houses will range from 9,000 to 17,000 square feet with the most expensive costing around $5 million. The University hopes to welcome its first group of residents to Sorority Village in the fall of 2012.