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 January 8, 2010

News

Installation chapels get major makeovers

Story & Photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Major renovations are under way in the Protestant Chapel, building 2672, which will cause a reorganization of the Fort McCoy worship schedule until late spring, said Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell.

Arteaga Construction of Milwaukee is the general contractor for the project, which was detailed  as part of the installation’s master plan. Included in the project is installing modern forced air heating/cooling equipment and insulation, upgrading the restroom areas, adding chairs to replace the pews, and new carpeting. Colwell said the pews were not compatible with the new carpeting so they were removed and donated to a civilian church, which saved those costs.

PHOTO: Tom Ballenger, superintendent, and BJ Britzman of Arteaga Construction do renovation work on the inside of Chapel 1 at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Tom Ballenger, superintendent, and BJ Britzman of Arteaga Construction do renovation work on the inside of Chapel 1 at Fort McCoy.

Chapel 10, building 1759, also will be updated with new carpeting and new chairs. A new roof was installed last fall.

The work is the first major reconstruction project of the chapels since 2002. That project included new awnings, creating break rooms and painting the chancel in Chapel 1.

“This work will serve as a bridge between now and a new chapel,” Colwell said. “We have the paperwork in to build a new chapel.”

Originally, the chapels on post, including Chapel 1 and Chapel 10, were built as temporary facilities designed to last for five to 10 years during World War II, Colwell said. As with the rest of the cantonment area buildings, the facilities were built to standards far above what was  required and have lasted much longer than planned. The original heating system in Chapel 1, for example, was powered by coal. The most recent system was a boiler that provided steam heat, and which couldn’t always be well regulated.

“After stripping the inside, you can see there isn’t any or very much insulation in the walls or ceilings,” Colwell said. “Truly, these were meant to be temporary buildings.”

PHOTO: An exterior view of the major renovation project that is under way at Fort McCoy Chapel 1.
An exterior view of the major renovation project that is under way at Fort McCoy Chapel 1.

Chapel 1 also will include a modern projection/video system, which will allow the chapel to be adapted to support denominations in addition to Protestant. Work, including the restroom renovations, also will bring the renovated facility into compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Later this year, Chapel 10 also will receive renovations including a new heating/cooling system, insulation and ADA-compliant restrooms.

During the current renovation project, several scheduling changes for activities held in Chapel 1 will be enacted until further notice, Colwell said. The Prayer and Praise Service scheduled for 7 p.m. Fridays in Chapel 1 has been suspended until the work is completed.

The Protestant Worship Service held at 9:30 a.m. Sundays has been moved from Chapel 1 to the Chapel Center, building 2675. Colwell said the fellowship that follows the Protestant/Catholic Worship Services/Masses will not be held until the project is completed.

Activities held in the Chapel Center and the Catholic Chapel will not be affected. These include: the Bible Study 7 p.m. Wednesdays in the Chapel Center. The Catholic Mass will continue to be held at 9:30 a.m. Sundays in Chapel 10. The Protestant Women of the Chapel Group holds a monthly luncheon.

For more information about worship services at Fort McCoy or in the surrounding communities, call 608-388-3528.

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