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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:00 am

From Greek to green, the new residents of the of the old Alpha house on the Morris Trail will look to provide a cleaner future.

Director of University Housing Mike Schultz said the house will be done by the fall. The only renovation work planned is replacing the carpet. The rest of the work will be up to the students.

Schultz said there are already focus interest communities in Cougar Village and the eco house is just the next step: since it is located near the SIUE Gardens it was a natural fit.

Those living in the house will work with the Biological Sciences Department, the Student Organization for Sustainability and the SIUE Gardens.

The house is taking applications for the house, which was formerly the living space for the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

It will be a coed house, according to Mallory Sidarous, marketing specialist for University Housing. The kitchen and living areas will be shared, but the bedrooms and bathrooms will be separate.

Sidarous said the same rules will apply to the students living there as other housing facilities on the campus.

Students who live in the house can apply for grant monies to help make the house a more sustainable environment and will partner with various ecological projects, such as the SIUE Gardens.

"Our hope is that the residents who are part of this community can make it their own," Sidarous said. "We want our students to live a more sustainable lifestyle."

Senor mass communications major Greg Harper of Chatham said the house seems like a great idea.

"I try to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, despite how difficult it is sometimes," Harper said.

He said the first project he would like to work on if he lives in the house would be the "greening" of the house itself, such as modernizing the kitchen and getting new windows.

"If this [house] is going to be what represents the program, we need to have a [living space] that looks like it," Harper said.

Harper said he does not think the coed living environment will be a problem.

"I don't see it as being a really big deal," Harper said. "With the exception on school life, we live in a coed existence."

Senior secondary geography education major Joe Kaminski of Springfield said he thinks the house has a lot of potential and will take a lot of work.

"I have a deep, passionate interest in making sure this planet lasts longer than my generation," Kaminski said. "[It] would set an example of what green living would look like on this campus."

Kaminski said one of his ideas for improving the house includes better insulation to keep energy costs down.

Junior manufacturing engineering major Chico Weber of St. Louis said he is highly interested in solar, wind and other alternative energies. He plans on finding a job that uses alternative energy management and research wgich is one reason he is interested in the Eco House.

Weber said he plans to apply for as many grants as possible to make the house more sustainable.

"I guess [projects] would be limited to how much we could get in grant money," Weber said.

Senior nursing major Rosie Prieto of Chicago said she likes that the school is trying to build a more sustainable environment.

"I'm not an environmentalist, but its good for people to recognize how important it is," Prieto said.

Those interested in applying to live in the house or want more information can visit www.siue.edu/housing/fic.

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