RUSTON — It has been almost two months since flames engulfed the Pi Kappa Alpha house and left the Louisiana Tech fraternity without a home.
Many fraternity members saw the one wall remaining from the May 19 fire as a symbol of the obstacles they faced in rebuilding.
But reconstruction plans are under way, said John Foster Chestnut, fraternity president and a junior finance major.
“The chapter has great alumni support,” he said. “I have been working with them very closely, and there has been progress made as far as the layout and gathering materials.”
The plan is to break ground as soon as the state fire marshal releases its report on the fire, he said.
Meanwhile, the fraternity is raising money.
“The entire Ruston community has been very supportive throughout this time,” Chestnut said. “Many different sororities, fraternities and local businesses have reached out to us and it has been greatly appreciated.”
Sorority Phi Mu is one of several that held fundraisers.
Amber Ball, a junior Spanish major and Phi Mu member, organized a car wash fundraiser.
“When I first heard about it, I didn’t realize how tragic it actually was,” she said. “People were shrugging it off because it was just a frat house, but people don’t realize it was an actual home for six of those guys.”
William Dearmon, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said he’s planning a fundraiser for late summer involving the Ruston community in addition to Tech organizations.
Dearmon said Ruston residents have always supported the university and its students.
“There are so many stereotypes about Greek organizations, but this community has shown a positive and appreciative attitude toward members of the organizations,” he said.