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Archive for Wednesday, August 29, 2001

Inspectors close fraternity house

Alpha Epsilon Pi house expected to regain compliance this week

August 29, 2001

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Members of a Kansas University fraternity ordered out of their house by city code inspectors are hoping to return later this week.

On Aug. 22, inspectors told residents of the Alpha Epsilon Pi their house at 1116 Ind. wasn't safe to live in.

They cited unsafe wiring, no hot water to some plumbing fixtures, unprotected gas pipes, improperly installed lighting and broken emergency lights and signs, said Barry Walthall, inspections supervisor. There also were several problems with the furnace room.

"The decision was made because it was a substandard building until safety violations could be corrected," Walthall said.

Angie Carr, coordinator of Greek programs at KU, said the house had been undergoing renovations that were supposed to be completed before the start of the fall semester.

"When the guys went to move into the house, it wasn't ready," she said. "It wasn't like the men were living like this for some time. It's not like the city came in and said, 'You all are living in filth. You have to get out.'"

Walthall said inspectors first entered the house Aug. 20 after receiving a complaint. He wouldn't say who made the complaint. A more detailed inspection occurred the next day. On Aug. 22, students were issued a notice to the vacate the property by Friday.

Walthall said some of the problems have been corrected, and a contractor is working to correct the rest. Then, inspectors will re-enter the house to determine if it's safe.

He said he didn't know how long the process would take.

"There's not an established timetable," he said. "I don't think it's a permanent situation."

Carr said she thought residents would move back to the house Thursday. Meanwhile, most of the house's 25 residents were staying at Baymont Inn, 740 Iowa.

Fraternity President Ben Kaplan did not return a phone message left Tuesday at his hotel room.

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