NEWPORT NEWS—A 18,700-pound cupola was placed atop Christopher Newport University's chapel on Tuesday.
Construction for the 14,000-square foot chapel began in September 2011.
The chapel, scheduled to open in late fall of 2012, is located between Trible Library and Ferguson Center for the Arts on campus, and can seat 400.
Students will be able to use the new space when they return to campus for the start of the second semester in January 2013, according to Bruce Bronstein, director of communications at the university.
The new interdenominational space will be used for worship, academic classes and small performances.
"We believe strongly that the opportunity to pursue faith should be available to students of all beliefs. The chapel will be a marvelous sanctuary for our students, nurturing their hearts and minds and providing a place of serenity, inspiration and comfort," CNU President Paul Trible said.
"We also look forward to hosting weddings, musical performances and other important ceremonies," Trible said.
All of the funding for the chapel was provided through private gifts and donations. The largest, $1 million in September during the university's 50th anniversary gala, came from Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope, and his wife Mary.
The chapel, which will cost an estimated $6.1 million to complete, still has drywall, flooring and finishing work continuing on in the interior.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun