South Post Chapel to get $900,000 renovation
June 11, 2008
<b>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea </b> - Yongsan's main chapel is getting a $900,000 renovation starting Monday.
The two-phase project will completely refurbish the sanctuary, install new carpet, renovate the bathrooms and paint most walls.
Beginning June 22, the 10 a.m. Protestant service and noon Gospel service will take place in the Seoul American High School auditorium. The Catholic service normally held at 8 a.m. Sunday is now 5 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Chapel.
The first phase and main part of the renovations should be completed by the end of August.
"I really think that people will be inspired by the improvements," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Crary, director of the Religious Retreat Center who will soon take over as U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan chaplain. "It will result in greater enthusiasm in our chapel programs, and we certainly hope there will be those who will join us who may not have come before."
During the first phase, all existing carpet will be replaced, along with ceiling tiles in the main entrance and sanctuary.
The plan calls for new paint on most walls, as well as renovations to one of the two bathrooms.
The sanctuary, where nearly 300 people gather every Sunday morning, will also see new hanging lights.
Crary said the project will not impact use of the kitchen, library and classrooms on the second floor.
"During the week, we'll continue to use the classrooms," he said. "There are a few activities that take a hiatus during the summer, so they'll be unaffected by this."
The fellowship room on the second floor will be closed as it will store the sanctuary equipment, mainly the pews. Crary said the chapel staff and volunteers will perform some self-help work to paint some halls and cleanup other areas.
The second phase starts in September with renovations to the second bathroom, along with some minor repair work in the classrooms.
Though services and other activities have been moved to other locations, mainly the Memorial Chapel and the high school, "this is going to run well," Crary said. "Everyone has been working really hard to make it successful."
He made special note of thanking the schools for their support to take in chapel activities during the school summer break.
"During the initial planning stages, we weren't sure where we were going to go," Crary said. "We met with the schools, and they opened up their facilities to us. We just can't thank them enough."
In the end, the high school auditorium - located next door to the main chapel - was selected as the best temporary location.
"We are also very grateful to the command for providing the funding for this," Crary added. "I think it's going to have a very positive impact on our chapel community."