Buies Creek, N.C.-For months, the Campbell University community has waited patiently for ground to be excavated, concrete poured, steel beams placed and walls framed on the Robert and Anna Gardner Butler Chapel. Today, according to project coordinator and Physical Plant Director Dave Martin, the 12,000 square-foot chapel is really taking shape.Martin reports that the main chapel foundation has been poured, the walls and roof are up and the traditional stained glass windows have been framed. The gathering hall, offices and choir and bride's rooms have also been erected on the chapel's west side. In addition, brick construction is underway on the chapel complex Bell Tower and Prayer Room, a place for quiet reflection."We are currently within budget and on-schedule," Martin said.
The chapel's total construction costs are projected at $8 million and the project completion date is set for May.
The spiritual and emotional benefit to the campus can't be quantified, however, said Campbell President Dr. Jerry M. Wallace.
"Campbell University is one of the premier faith-based universities in the Southeast," Wallace said. "It has existed for 120 years without a chapel of its own. With the construction of a university chapel in the heart of the campus, Campbell has seen the dawn of a new day."
Located on the Academic Circle adjacent to the Taylor Hall of Religion, the chapel will seat approximately 400 people. The modified Gothic design takes its influence from the medieval churches of France and England, which feature east/west orientation, long arcaded interiors, high vaulted roofs, stained glass windows and east end sanctuary and altar. The chapel's exposed wood trusses, carved from southern yellow pine, hearken back to the flying buttresses of ancient cathedrals. Traditional stained glass windows blend medieval design with contemporary influences.
The university chapel will serve the needs of the entire student body as well as the educational needs of the Campbell Divinity School. It will be available to the Campbell community for worship, fellowship, learning, prayer and reflection.
"The chapel will be a place of comfort and support, where lives are challenged, encouraged and changed," Wallace said. "This iconic building will bring people together throughout the campus community and appeal to all who enter. It will also reflect the Campbell mission and stand as a reminder that worship is central to the life of the university."
Photo Copy: Campbell University's Butler Chapel construction (Photo by Shannon Ryals)