Remembering his days as a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Wittenberg inspired Kyle Barger, Wittenberg class of 2007, to take on the project of remodeling a home at 926 N. Fountain Avenue to be used as the chapter’s new digs.
“Coming back to campus with Tiger Tank, the Make-A-Day Foundation, and other opportunities to serve reconnected me with the students and campus life,” said Barger, of Columbus, Ohio, who earned his degree in business management with a minor in psychology. “My fondest memories of Wittenberg center around the people and organizations I was a part of on campus, one of which was being Greek and a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Getting to work with the guys in the chapter reminded me of the camaraderie and experience, and I thought it was a shame for these guys not to have the fraternity house experience. So, a group of us got together and decided to change that.”
Owner of Champion Trading Group (CTG) in Columbus, a third-party purchasing and sales division for customers in the steel and metals recycling industry, and the Make-A-Day Foundation in Columbus, Barger and a group of Wittenberg alumni including Matt Reck ’07, Paul Miller ’04, Scott Armstrong ’05, Patrick Rittenhouse ’17, Lucas George ’18, John Kolberg ’18, Mike Pickarski ’02, Jon Duraj ’09, and Justin Luby ’19 formed a housing corporation and have been helping to renovate the home after purchasing it in August 2020. The house is the original Delta Tau Delta fraternity house on campus.
“We have several alumni stepping up in various manners,” Barger said. “We have been working on this project for almost three years. And now, after three different chapter presidents, countless houses toured, letters to home owners, and attempts to find the right house, the project is finally coming to a completion,” Barger said. “Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun designing the house and adding elements we would have loved to see as our 20-year old selves. It’s fun to be a part of the process and know these guys and many more in the future will benefit and enjoy it. We are thankful to have the opportunity to give back to Wittenberg, a school that has given so much to us. With the support of the University, we hope to do this again for other organizations or in other ways. Tiger Up!”
“The commitment to excellence by the Iota Beta Chapter of Delta Tau Delta is evident through its dedicated actives and alumni who have worked hard to achieve this milestone. This opportunity of a fraternity house will generate fond collegiate memories that will last a lifetime,” said Jade Jones, director of student involvement and fraternity & sorority life. “A fraternity house represents a solid foundation of fraternal values where its brothers will be able to work together to set and achieve its goals. I look forward to attending the welcoming ceremony and viewing this milestone.”
Originally built in the early 1900s, the house has received more than $250,000 in renovations including adding all new energy-efficient windows, a new roof, updating the furnace and air conditioning units, restoring wood floors, a complete remodel of the attic, new flooring, additional baths and fixtures, paint, and more.
Fourteen students will occupy the house that features plenty of natural lighting with beautiful window seats, a welcoming front porch, and large recreation room off the back.
“The opportunities that are presented with this new fraternity house are endless,” said Mitchell Davis, president Delta Tau Delta Iota Beta. “The brothers of Delta Tau Delta will be able to have a brand-new space to call home for the time they spend at Wittenberg and beyond. The combination of work from all of our alumni truly shows men of excellence living the values they took on as a member for life here at Wittenberg.They continue to inspire us and put on display how to continue to look out for their brothers long after their time at Wittenberg. As we return to campus this semester, there is a different feel for us here at Delta Tau Delta. We are excited to become a beacon on campus for Greek life with this house and we will continue to serve the community in a positive light. A special thanks again to everyone who worked to make this a possibility. Rah Rah Delta Tau Delta.”
There is a total of 12 bedrooms, two of which will be doubles on the attic level with the rest slated for single occupants. There are six bathrooms, a library, central gathering spaces on each level, three entries, two staircases, a fire escape, four decorative fireplaces, a paved parking area, and two kitchens.
The recreation room features Wittenberg colors with an array of lighting options, space for two TVs, lots of windows, a projector, the famed Witt logo on the wall, and a door to the paved parking area that will soon be equipped with a basketball hoop. Located on the upper level is a presidential suite complete with a private bath and extra storage space for the fraternity president.
“The house has tons of Wittenberg history and is next door to the home that was previously used as the Delta Tau Delta house when I was at Wittenberg,” Barger said. “Student members of the fraternity can rent a room through Wittenberg’s Residence Life. The group agreed that it would be the cheapest rent on campus – that was very important to us.”