New Fort Rucker Chapel plans progress
January 7, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Design plans are nearly finalized for a new 22,600-square-foot, 620-seat chapel to be built on post, providing a facility that installation religious leaders hope will bring Soldiers and Families closer together.
Chaplains, local contractors, designers and Army Corps of Engineers members congregated Tuesday at Directorate of Public Works' Bldg. 1120 to fulfill requirements necessary to begin the building process.
Discussions ranged from the literal nuts and bolts of the building to meeting standards protecting the structure from high winds.
Groundbreaking at the Guthrie Airfield location tentatively begins in mid-February, or once design details are finished, according to DPW Community Planner Mike Maxwell. He anticipates the project will take about one year. Congressional funding prompted construction plans for the new chapel.
Maxwell said the Andrews Avenue site offers a place of worship to meets the needs of Warrant Officer Career College and Advanced Individual Training students.
The new facility also allows the two contemporary Protestant services currently held at the Chapel of Wings to be combined into one, said Deputy Installation Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Claude Crisp. He noted many young flight school Families attend the worship services now and hopes more will become interested once the larger, more modern location is functional.
Crisp said the additional space enables staff to conduct more religious, educational and social events "that bring Families together." While no specific new programs are in the works yet, he advises community members to look forward to positive changes.
He added he is excited for what the new chapel will offer installation Soldiers and Families.
"To see a new chapel changes the whole post. People will drive by it every day. Chapels represent hope, Family and faith. It will truly enhance the faith and Family of Fort Rucker," Crisp said.
Ronald Dorsey, Mobile U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project manager, agreed.
"It will be a beautiful facility," he said. "It will change the look of the (post) for the better."
Dorsey said he and post officials are coordinating with contractors from Montgomery's Clement Group, LLC to complete the project.