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Gunnison Chapel last week. Photo: Kelly Bartlett
Gunnison Chapel last week. Photo: Kelly Bartlett

St. Lawrence U's Gunnison Chapel repairs getting underway

A spokesperson from St. Lawrence University says that work is starting this month on St. Lawrence University's Gunnison Chapel, which was heavily damaged in a fire last October.

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Reported by

Kelly Bartlett
NCPR Intern

Faulty electrical wires caused two fires on October 6, and left the chapel with extensive damage to both the bell tower and the spire. Not long after the fire was put out, the spire fell.

The blaze as captured by a SLU student. Photo: Madeleine Young, courtesy St. Lawrence University
The blaze as captured by a SLU student. Photo: Madeleine Young, courtesy St. Lawrence University
Gunnison Chapel, which was built in 1926, spent much of the 2013-2014 academic year surrounded by cones and large metal fences, one of which was recently removed. Lisa Cania, Vice President for Community & Employee Relations, says the first phase of repairs to the chapel begins this month, with “interior flooring replacement, pew removal for refinishing, fire alarm system installation, and cleaning and painting."

The second phase will focus on the chapel's exterior, with restoration of the bell tower and the spire. Cania said she's confident "the Chapel will again be the place that inspires all Laurentians and all in our region who have experienced community, celebration, and consolation there.”

A water-soaked, handwritten copy of St. Lawrence University's alma mater, one of dozens of sheets of music rescued from the bell tower of Gunnison Memorial Chapel by Canton firemen following the fire in the chapel. Photo: Varick Chittenden, Canton
A water-soaked, handwritten copy of St. Lawrence University's alma mater, one of dozens of sheets of music rescued from the bell tower of Gunnison Memorial Chapel by Canton firemen following the fire in the chapel. Photo: Varick Chittenden, Canton


Kelly Bartlett's internship at NCPR is supported by the Stan Macdonald Journalism Fund

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