A portion of Emory’s campus – including two fraternity houses, the student houses located on Peavine Creek Road, the lower fields as well as the baseball and softball fields – will be demolished this summer to make way for a mandatory change in the railroad track, according to CSX Transportation spokesperson Lirpa Sloof.
While the property belongs to the University, the railroad company has the right to “acquiesce a realistic and appropriate portion of land if railroad development is needed,” according to a sub-clause in the land deed that was written when Emory moved to the Druid Hills Campus.
“We at CSX want to ensure all parties involved that we did not reach this decision lightly and explored all possible alternatives,” Sloof said. “However, with the increase in demand and our focus on new, sustainable initiatives, we were only left with this option.”
The railroad has been in its current location since the late 18th century and was formerly the only nonstop route to New York City.
Sloof cited structural deficiencies in the currently laid groundwork as a reason for the move.
“Given the tracks’ long history in its current location, the area where the tracks currently lay no longer meets CSX’s rail integrity requirements,” Sloof said. “Therefore, moving the tracks to the new location will increase the safety of rail travel for all our clients.”
The railroad will run through the area currently occupied by the Beta Theta Pi and Alpha Epsilon Pi houses and then run behind the sorority lodges.
“The railroad has long been an integrated part of campus and has given students and alumni many fond memories,” a March 30 University press release states. “Although upsetting to many, the partnership Emory has developed with CSX has allowed Emory to enjoy avoiding a situation like this for some time.”
Though it’s possible that buildings and spaces being removed can be relocated, according to the University press release, there are no current plans for relocation.
The news has many students in an uproar.
“I just can’t believe this is happening,” said one fraternity member who wished to remain anonymous, citing “rush” as his reasoning. “I already had my room in the house picked for next year, and now I don’t know where I’m going to live.”
The Wheel could not reach administrators before press time for comment. Perhaps they were preoccupied with April Fools Day pranks… like this one.
–By Wheel Pranks