Condemned frat house reopens

Sigma Pi members began moving back into their house Saturday, three days after it was condemned by the city, a fraternity leader said.

About 29 fraternity members were living in the house when it was condemned on Wednesday afternoon, said Ross Vincent, sage of UK’s Sigma Pi chapter.

Service technicians hired by the fraternity worked on the utilities soon after the city condemned the Sigma Pi house, and fraternity brothers began cleaning and making repairs, Vincent said.

“The fact that we had all of our brothers help out, chip in and do our part is great,” he said.

The house, at 364 Aylesford Place, was condemned Wednesday afternoon after being issued between 15 and 20 citations by the city, said David Jarvis, Lexington code enforcement director.

“It was just full of beer cans, garbage everywhere,” Jarvis said.

Under code-enforcement policy, the fraternity members were not allowed to live in the house while it was condemned, Jarvis said.

If the fraternity house’s violations — which included electrical problems, fire hazards and garbage — were not cleared up in a week, the house would have been boarded up, Jarvis said.

UK officials offered the displaced fraternity members on-campus housing, but most members stayed with friends or fraternity brothers, Vincent said.

Vincent said he was surprised when he learned the house had been condemned.

“I thought we would at least get some kind of notification of what needed to be done,” Vincent said.

Jarvis said there was a lot of trash in the house, including feces in the kitchen. Jarvis said he did not know if the excrement was animal or human.

“What happened was we had a huge plumbing problem the week before and it was still backed up,” Vincent said. “They were supposed to be working on it when all this happened.”

Although Jarvis said the Sigma Pi house was dirty, he said code enforcement officers have encountered bigger problems.

“It’s not the worst I’ve ever seen,” Jarvis said.