IOWA CITY, Iowa – During the State of the Fraternity presentation at the 61st International Convention, it was announced that Delta Chi’s International Headquarters would move. The announcement followed more than a year of research and discussion by an ad hoc committee established by 53rd “AA”, Aaron Otto, to assess the need and vet possibilities for a new headquarters location.
Although the initial announcement came at Convention, final recommendation of a location was made to the Board of Regents in August 2018. The Board unanimously accepted and ratified that recommendation in September.
“The first recommendation from the IHQ ad hoc committee was to celebrate the near half century of service the Fraternity has enjoyed from the Church Street location and recommend to the Board of Regents that we need to move IHQ to a larger facility,” Otto, Kansas State ’98, said. “The Board of Regents signed off on that recommendation in the summer of 2018, and the committee went back to work researching possible cities to host the Fraternity’s IHQ.”
The excitement surrounding this next step in the Fraternity’s growth comes with a respect for the nearly 50 years Delta Chi has been based at 314 Church Street.
“A concern of the ad hoc committee and certainly the Board of Regents was the impact a possible change of location could have on the staff. It is certainly the preference that each staff person is offered the opportunity to continue their service at the new headquarters. However, if that is not possible, then a financial package will be created to thank those staff members for their years of dedicated service to the Fraternity.”
The turn-of-the-century house that is IHQ rests in a residential neighborhood in Iowa City, Iowa and served the Fraternity well, despite the age and wear that it bares after a half-century of being Delta Chi’s operational nexus. When the Fraternity took possession of it, it had four staff members, 78 chapters, and 2,721 undergraduate members.
An addition in 1993 created more offices and storage, but the space is not sufficient as Delta Chi now boasts 17 staff members, 112 chapters, and more than 5,700 members.
“For the last number of years, all office spaces at IHQ have housed two individuals, except for the Executive Director, and still there was not enough space for staff, causing some to work remotely from their homes.”
While the committee vetted the potential options for a new headquarters, one inescapable point was clear; remaining at Church Street was not an option. Moreover, further property additions also were not an option.
“IHQ is currently grandfathered in its current condition as a non-conforming property. Options were investigated to determine if the local city government would allow for another expansion or perhaps would rezone a neighboring property, and those options were not seen as favorable since the overall neighborhood has a residential designation.”
The committee established and reviewed a variety of criteria when generation its recommendation. Following a successful move, the Church Street property will be made available for sale as a residential property, which is consistent with the area’s zoning laws.
“The industry and our staff have grown exponentially over the past decades, and with that so have the needs of our chapters, colonies, and programs,” Interim Executive Director Jerod Breit, Central Missouri ’04, said. “The need is for a space that is conducive to collaboration, cost effective to maintain, comfortable, and convenient for staff and visitors.”
Announcement of the move comes amid Delta Chi’s search for a new executive director who, once hired, will oversee the transition, including selecting a site and move timeline.
“We will always appreciate and remember the legacy of 314 Church Street. It housed generations of committed and dedicated staff, it is the legacy where academies were born, conferences and conventions were conceived, and mentors like Ray Galbreath shined the light paving the way for our new path forward,” Breit continued. “We may not have the same building in our future, but walls can be left behind; our history cannot.”