2013-12-03 / Front Page

Bowdoin frat house comes down

BY JT LEONARD Times Record Staff


AN EXCAVATOR claws down the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Bowdoin College’s campus Monday. The building had been vacant since Bowdoin did away with its Greek system in 2000. 
JT LEONARD / THE TIMES RECORD AN EXCAVATOR claws down the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house on Bowdoin College’s campus Monday. The building had been vacant since Bowdoin did away with its Greek system in 2000. JT LEONARD / THE TIMES RECORD BRUNSWICK

The last vestige of Bowdoin College’s Greek student-life system soon will be nothing more than a pile of rubble and dust.

An excavator Monday tore into the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 38 Harpswell Road, which had stood vacant for more than a decade.

Bowdoin had no sororities, although its eight most recent fraternities eventually went co-educational. They officially were disbanded in 1997 and eliminated altogether in 2000 when the final Greek-affiliated students graduated.

After the elimination, Bowdoin began to acquire the buildings either for repurposing or demolition. Some of the former fraternity houses were renovated and incorporated into the “College House” residence system which replaced the Greek system. Among the converted buildings still standing are Howell, Ladd, Quinby, MacMillan and Reed houses; the former Kappa Delta Theta house now serves as the admissions office.

The former Alpha Kappa Sigma house, however, was deemed to be in such terrible condition that renovating it a second time — the first fix-up was in 1930 — would be senseless.

Country Fare, a contracting and landcaping company from Bowdoin — the town — has been on-site for more than a week, first stripping metal and other recycleable or reusable materials from the inside of the 108-year-old building, then starting to level the remaining structure.

College officials said no defined plans yet exist for the soon-to-be vacant lot, although the space is being considered as a possible home for the Arctic Museum — which currently is housed in Hubbard Hall at the southern end of the Quad — as well as for additional academic space.

However, mindful of neighbors’ concerns in the pocket neighborhoods that straddle Harpswell Road, officials specified that no student housing would be erected on the site.

ANY PLANS? College officials said no defined plans yet exist for the soon-to-be vacant lot, although the space is being considered as a possible home for the Arctic Museum — which currently is housed in Hubbard Hall at the southern end of the Quad — as well as for additional academic space.

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