Gunnison Memorial Chapel Spire Install Set for May 1

Beginning early in the morning of Friday, May 1, crews will begin installing the new spire atop Gunnison Memorial Chapel.

Pieces of the new copper spire came from several different manufacturers throughout the country, were assembled together in Campbellsville, Kentucky, and will begin making the 865-mile trek to St. Lawrence next week. St. Lawrence Photographer Tara Freeman took several photos earlier this month in Kentucky, showing the spire assembly.

During the installation process, there will be some disruptions across campus, mainly affecting Richardson Hall and the promenade between Gunnison and the Quad as well as the Quad and Creasy Commencement Common. On Thursday, a large, 300-foot crane, which will be used to install the spire, will arrive on campus. It will park and be assembled in front of Richardson, requiring the Quad-facing and Gunnison-facing entrances to be closed. The building, however, will remain open.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, the eight-hour installation of the new spire will begin. Richardson Hall will be closed all day. Faculty who teach classes in Richardson will make arrangements to hold classes elsewhere. Students with Friday classes normally held in Richardson should contact their professors for alternative meeting locations. Temporary fencing will mark off the closed perimeter around Gunnison.

If winds exceed 20 miles per hour or if there is any lightning, installation will be postponed to Saturday, May 2.

The best place to view the installation process will be on the lower half of the Quad nearest Kirk Douglas Hall. Spectators and members of the media are asked to stay clear of the construction site but to enjoy the crowning moment from a safe distance.

Gunnison Memorial Chapel will serve as the site for the Baccalaureate Service of Celebration, which will take place at 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, prior to Commencement. It also will be the first time the campus will hear the Bacheller Memorial Chime ring since the fire. Experts will arrive on campus April 29 to begin repairing and restoring the chime, and they are expected to finish prior to Commencement. Experienced bell ringer Cody Witherell ’11, assistant director of student financial services, is set to ring the bells just before and immediately following the Baccalaureate Service.

Meanwhile, the campus is planning for a formal ceremony this fall to fully recognize the skill of the restoration work and to rededicate the chapel’s purpose as a central place on campus for contemplation and assembly.

For more information, visit