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January 25, 2013

Community

Chapel upgrades improve sound,
promote Family-friendly atmosphere

Story & photo by Geneve N. Mankel, Public Affairs Staff

Upgrades to improve religious-service facilities at Fort McCoy are under way.
PHOTO: Speakers are installed in the nursery area of Chapel 1. Photo by Geneve N. Mankel
Doug Bell (left) and Brian Burke, employees of Business Equipment Sales & Service Tomah, install speakers in the nursery area of Chapel 1. The speakers will allow parents with young children to listen to the service when caring for their children in the nursery.

An Ecclesiastical Equipment Grant of several thousand dollars was used to upgrade the sound system and nursery in both Chapel 1 (Protestant), building 2672, and Chapel 10 (Roman Catholic), building 1759, said Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Allen Raub.

The Fort McCoy Religious Support Office proposed a grant application totaling $15,000. The application was submitted to the Installation Management Command Chaplain’s Office in September, and was approved and awarded by the Office of the Chief of Chaplains.

The sound system upgrades will include cordless microphones, visual information equipment and new speakers. Office space in each of the chapels is being converted into a nursery to allow for a more Family-friendly environment during services, Raub said.

Speakers connected to each chapel’s sound systems will be installed in the nurseries to allow parents to listen to the service while also taking care of their children, he said. Nursery windows also provide views of the service areas.

“The nurseries will allow parents with children to participate in the services, as well as providing a child-appropriate room where kids can be kids,” Raub said. “We don’t want to exclude Families with young children.”

Before the upgrades parents who brought their children to services could still use the office areas to take care of their children, but it was difficult to hear the service and there weren’t activities to engage the children, he said. Each nursery will be equipped with toys, child-sized chairs and tables, bean bags, a TV and DVD player, and a rocking chair.

In the past the Chapels’ main congregations were Soldiers who were at the installation for the mobilization and training missions, and, because of that, there wasn’t a big need for Family-friendly areas, Raub said. “Now we want to create a place where Soldiers with young children can come and be involved in worship. Future projects at Chapel 10 include a new HVAC system, restroom and storage upgrades.

Protestant Worship Service and Roman Catholic Mass are held Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in their respective chapels.

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