Science Soars to New Heights at Berea College

An 11,000 pound cupola rose more than four stories from ground-level in the construction staging area to its location atop the new Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building at Berea College.

Personnel from Campbellsville Industries, manufacturers of the custom-designed cupola, and Messer Construction Company, which serve as the general contractors, joined the Berea College capital projects manager Richard Dodd to successfully complete the installation of the new steel and aluminum cupola that is modeled after bell tower on Berea’s historic Phelps Stokes Chapel. The newly-installed cupola measures 33 feet 8 inches tall by 12 feet wide.

The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building will house the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Nursing departments at Berea College.

A crowd of onlookers, including townsfolk, Berea College staff, and members of the science and math faculty who will occupy the building, gathered to eagerly watch the workers deftly handle the material and operate the crane that maneuvered the tower into place. That was followed with placement of a dome and spire.

Once the cupola was installed, Dr. Matthew Saderholm, Chair of the Academic Division that will occupy the building, was lifted by the crane to place the weathervane onto the spire at the top of the cupola. Saderholm, an Associate Professor of Chemistry, has taught at Berea College since 1999.

Construction of this building represents an investment made by alumni and donors. The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health building propels Berea College into the 21st century and builds on the college’s long tradition of providing its students with outstanding educational opportunities and facilities. The new academic building is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2018.

View an image gallery of the cupola installation below:

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Tags: construction, Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, science

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.