By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |
Tulane wants to build a police substation in place of a frat house that was closed after pledges were scalded with boiling water and crab boil in an ugly 2009 hazing incident.
The case for demolishing the former Pi Kappa Alpha residence, at 1036 Broadway, will be presented today before the Neighborhood Conservation Committee.
Two pledges were hospitalized with severe burns in spring 2009 after 10 members of the fraternity — also known as Pike — allegedly doused them with crab boil and boiling water. The 10 frat members turned themselves in after arrest warrants were issued, but Orleans Parish prosecutors decided against bringing charges against them.
Tulane revoked Pi Kappa Alpha’s charter and the building was sold to the fraternity’s national office for about $200,000. Tulane then bought the property for a figure in excess of $500,000.
Ahead of Monday’s meeting, Tulane spokesman Mike Strecker said the university officials plan to build a police substation if the demolition is permitted.
However, Tulane’s project manager said construction is not imminent because the university doesn’t yet have all the money.
“At one time we looked at it becoming a police station,” Mark LeBlanc said. “But we will not build until we have 100 percent financing in place.”
The lot is directly across the street from The Boot, popular campus watering hole. Strecker did not say whether plans for a police substation are part of a crackdown on underage drinking. Since 2009, Tulane police have been empowered to issue citations to underage drinkers.