Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Dahlgren’s Interior Plan Unveiled

The architects working to restore Dahlgren Chapel unveiled plans for renovations to the building’s interior at a meeting Tuesday.

Most of the intended changes, which include moving the organ from the rear of the chapel to behind the altar, are intended to increase the amount of seating. According to Jim Wickman, director of music and liturgy, a new organ will have to be constructed for the chapel.

“The new organ will utilize some parts of the old organ,” he said. “We’re still in the interviewing process of hiring an organ builder.”

Students, faculty and priests who attended the meeting raised questions about where the tabernacle and choir would be located if the organ were to be moved. Some voiced concern that the tabernacle would take up too much space if it were moved to share an already tight space with the choir behind the altar, and suggested moving the choir to the rear of the chapel or keeping the tabernacle in its original spot to the right of the altar.

An accurate timeline for the completion of the interior design project has not yet been fully formed. According to Sean Reilly, the principal architect for the project, the deadlines will largely depend on fundraising, which has not yet begun in earnest.

Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry, was delighted with the variety of the recommendations.

“Great feedback, good suggestions,” he said. “That’s why we have meetings like this.”

The $7.5 million project to restore the 118-year-old chapel, which began last semester, was funded in large part by a $6 million donation from Francis (CAS ’75, LAW ’78) and Kathleen (SFS ’77) Rooney.

The renovations are largely designed to repair significant water damage to the chapel’s foundation.

Although a follow-up meeting has not yet been scheduled, some students are already looking forward to providing more feedback.

“I’m very excited because I think having this discussion in the first place is very meaningful,” AlexPodkul (COL ’13) said. “It’s a meaningful dialogue that we’re going to have, especially in the next couple of months.”

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