Howard Chapel on Barton’s campus will soon undergo phase two of construction renovations. This historic building is on its way to becoming a more contemporary environment for students to enjoy. Construction will begin immediately after graduation.
Jamie Eubanks, college chaplain, and several other college officials met last semester to discuss remodeling plans.
So far, plans were made to add a conference room, storage room, two offices, a meeting space and bathrooms, update the lighting, install a new sound system, remodel the stage and install new seating and stained glass windows.
A number of ideas were discussed, but specific plans are not permanent, said Eubanks, who added there is a possi The conference room, storage room, two offices and meeting space will be located in the area behind the stage. Entry to this area will be granted through the double-doors of the Aileen and Bill Parish Plaza, added last year.
Eubanks said the meeting space will be a new central area for students to gather and study or hang out.
One of the two offices to be installed will be designated to Eubanks and the other for the Center for Religious Studies, directed by Dr. Rod Werline, professor and the Marie and Leman Barnhill endowed chair in religious studies.
Eubanks said new men and women’s bathrooms will be installed in the chapel foyer, located at its. He also said the lighting in the building will be changed to create a brighter atmosphere, unlike the dim lighting that is in place.
The stage will be remodeled and extended about four feet to create a larger surface area and new seating will be installed to provide more space for people to sit.
Eubanks said new stained glass windows are already in the process of being installed, which have not been replaced for about 80 years.
Eubanks said he is excited the chapel is getting an upgrade and he has been anticipating it since he arrived at Barton.
“We’ve been talking about renovating the chapel for about 10 years,” said Eubanks. “Now it is finally happening.”
He said the renovation process started under the former president Dr. Norval Kneten, but is being continued by Dr. Douglas Searcy.
Phase two renovations are calculated to cost about $350,000. Eubanks said money has been given by donors. Some of these donors are trustees, graduates or people who like the school.
When the Aileen and Bill Parish Plaza was built, Eubanks said $700,000 was raised. Though an amount of that money was dedicated to the plaza, the remainder was set aside for phase two renovations.
Eubanks said he has high hopes for the remodeled chapel.
“My hope has always been that the chapel becomes more than just this relic that sits right there in center campus,” he said. “That it becomes a place where students want to go, where it is updated enough that we have state of the arts stuff that students can find useful and that it can become like a central gathering place.”
Eubanks said the renovations should be completed before the naming and induction ceremony in the fall.
By Taylor Baker