Minnesota Masonic Home (MMH) fast approaches its 100th year as a pioneering care provider for aging adults, and in one place, the Home’s age is showing. That’s why MMH today announced that it will be removing its 60-year-old Order of the Eastern Star Chapel and replacing it with one that will serve well for (at least) the next 60 years.
The current chapel at MMH opened its doors in 1958 and has hosted many non-denominational services for the Home’s residents, as well as weddings and memorials. Recently, structural deterioration prompted a thorough site review to determine the efficacy of repairing the building, or the need for constructing a new one. After consulting with contractors, the Minnesota Masonic Home Board of Directors made the recommendation to move forward with a new, more efficient chapel.
“Our chapel is so essential to our continuum of care,” said Beth Schroeder, administrator for MMH. “It’s appropriate that it sits in the middle of our campus, because it serves as the spiritual center of our community here. The new chapel is so inspirational. It will be a wonderful addition.
The existing OES Chapel is 2,600 square feet and consists of a small entryway and oratory. The new, 6,000 SF chapel design, by Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., will add amenities such as an outdoor English garden and courtyard, added parking, a preparatory room and restrooms. The old chapel’s stained glass windows will be incorporated into the new design.
“The old chapel has served us well,” said Eric J. Neetenbeek, president and CEO of Minnesota Masonic Charities, which administers the Home, “but its structural problem could not be adequately resolved. We realized we had an opportunity to revitalize this area of our campus as part of our ongoing investment in our flagship organization, Minnesota Masonic Home.”
Demolition of the existing chapel is scheduled to begin May 2019, with construction of the new chapel to being thereafter. The general contractor, Adolfson & Peterson, reports a scheduled completion date of December 2019, when the new OES Chapel will be dedicated in traditional Masonic form.