It has been a long time coming... Over the years the coop has probably earned it's spot as least likely to receive periodic maintenance. For one reason or another, other projects have taken higher priority (Heat, Foundation, Exterior Painting, the list goes on and on...).
We have heard, loud and clear, that many Pi Alumni are not happy with the exterior condition of the house. We couldn't agree more and have started looking at alternatives to not only restoring the Pi exterior, but upgrading it so it can endure year after year of harsh Syracuse winters. It should be no surprise that the Pi is one of the last remaining all-wood structures on the University campus. Even more amazing is that much the exterior siding is original dating back to the turn of the century. Layers and layers of paint have built up over the years, to the point where there is simply no way to paint over the existing layers. There is no real surface for the paint to adhere to anymore. This is most evident on the upper floors of the house.
Well, the Trust Association decided that some critical work needed to be done on the coop and set aside money to get the roof and interior ceiling replaced. Please read on for what we have discovered and how we need your help!
Our overall plan was to do an incremental overhaul of the Pi exterior with the intention of returning the Chapter back to the much desired flat white color. Some alumni mentioned that the Chapter House was originally a subtle two-tone white and neutral gray which is also under consideration. Either way, the desire is to get away from the current mustard yellow color which might be historically correct, but is simply not aestically appealing.
Our original plan was to start with the coop... we had numerous issues with water leakage during heavy rainstorms and our concern that ice could form and during thaws, drop on the stain glass dome. Our first project would be to remove the existing rotted coop interior ceiling and completely replace the exterior roof membrane.
Pete Daly '80 was contracted to do the work as he has worked on other roof and exterior carpentry projects within the Pi and probably is the one person most familiar with the house infrastructure. (and it's numerous quirks) The original project was slated to cost between $14,000-$16,000.
The good news is that the coop roof and supporting wood is actually quite sound, there is one area that needs repair in the southwest side of the coop. This area does have a small leak and there is some evidence of dry rot. The bad news, is that the majority of water is entering through rotted window frames and exterior siding. To truly fix this problem will require expanding the scope of work.
Pete is proposing the replace all the windows with custom fitted vinyl framed replacements. In addition, we are proposing to re-side the coop exterior with vinyl siding (white color) and where possible preserve the existing architectural details such as the columns on either side of each coop window. Vinyl is under consideration for the coop because of it's cost, durability and ease of maintenance. We would not consider vinyl for the lower floors because it will not look as good close up and could be easily damaged by a flying football or other object. For the lower floors we will consider a composite siding material that will look like true wood and wear for years without painting. Pete believes this additional coop work will cost an additional $20,000.00-$25,000.00. Please take a close look at the pictures and consider making a financial pledge to help get this essential work completed! We will be actively working over the summer to come up with a realistic estimate of cost to reside the entire house. Right now our focus is address the critical issues in the coop.
Here are some pictures of the current state of the coop... below is the coop ceiling with the tin ornamental ceiling removed. Far corner will require reinforcements to repair dry rot around leaky roof.
Extreme evidence of exterior dry rot... painting not an option here.
Window sills are clearly rotted out.... significant amount of water can enter (and is...) doing further damage on the interior of the house.
Further pictures of rotted windows frames...
Any questions or concerns, please contact Jim Cornacchia '86 (VP, Psi Upsilon Trust Association) at email@example.com. We fully understand that many alumni have been affected by the economic events of the last year... and any donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated! Your generous contributions have kept the Pi going year after year and because of this, we now hold the honor of being the oldest and ONLY continuously operating fraternity on SU campus!
If you are interested in donating to this important campaign, please send an email to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' with your pledge amount. We will respond with details on how to make payment. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT! THE ALUMNI OF THE PI CHAPTER ARE THE PRIMARY REASON WHY OUR CHAPTER HAS REMAINED IN IT'S PROMINENT SPOT ON CAMPUS!