About the building project...
Land for the Alpha Phi Omega National Office at 14901 E. 42nd St., S., Independence, Missouri 64055, was purchased in November 1989. A ground-breaking ceremony was held in February 1990. The building was complete and ready for business November 1990. The cost of the land was $100,000 and construction of the building was $210,000.
The project was guaranteed with a generous loan from the Alpha Phi Omega Endowment and fifty brothers, known as the "Fab 50", who pledged a ten-year commitment to pay for the project.
Through generous fundraising to support the building project, National President Jerry Schroeder, Mu Alpha '66, "burned the mortgage" at the final banquet of the 1994 National Convention. This was done six years earlier than anticipated!
Why build a permanent National Office?
Throughout the history of the Fraternity the Alpha Phi Omega Board of Directors, from time to time, would consider a permanent National Office; however it had never been a felt need of the Fraternity. At one time the "vision" was to construct a building like a service station (read filling station). Another drawing looked like a "double-wide." Another artistic rendering was a building in the shape of a Service Pin mounted on a central column with covered parking under each arm of the pin. Some of this art can be seen in the basement archives of the National Office.
In August of 1985, Patrick W. Burke became the fifth National Executive Director of the Fraternity. On his third day of employment National President Earle M. Herbert, Chi '59, called him and after short remarks and a brief welcome emphatically noted that it was time to find a permanent National Office for the Fraternity. A national building committee was formed. National Board Member Chuck Bowen, Iota Mu '76, was named chairman of the building committee. It was determined that the general Kansas City area would be the location because of the history of the National Office being there since 1931, and the staff all lived in the Kansas City area.
The search was initially aimed at finding an existing building suitable for our needs. The committee looked at old mansions, a funeral home and office buildings. Ultimately the decision was made to purchase land and build a permanent office. Independence, Missouri was selected by the Board of Directors because the location was near I-70 Highway and would be easy for future generations of brothers (who like to take long drives) to find and visit.