|The Trish & Dan Bell Chapel and East Loop Road Realignment, located on Florida International University’s (FIU) campus, is being completed in two phases. The East Loop Road Realignment project includes the re-alignment of a portion of the existing East Loop Road inside of the campus in order to create more land area for the future chapel, to improve truck access to the back-of-house area primarily of the Graham Center, to improve overall pedestrian connectivity, and to create an area to welcome students and faculty to the chapel. All utilities were impacted including water main extension, extension of chilled water lines, relocation of fire hydrants, paving and drainage, road and parking design, site lighting, relocation of buried gas, electric lines, tree relocation, and the partial infill of the existing lake. This project presented several challenges including working with an active university with thousands of students, pedestrians, bus routes through the site and parking. Construction phasing was required to ensure the student experience would not be impacted by the construction of the new road and chapel.
The second phase of this project is the construction chapel itself and adjacent land areas. The chapel will be a 1-story building with approximately 18,432 SF. The primary space is a multi faith sanctuary space that will seat up to 250 persons. The sanctuary is equipped with a full audio-visual system, acoustic treatment, sound system, electronic Carillon system, and security system. The sanctuary was designed to be flexible to accommodate all religious faiths. The sanctuary will offer students and faculty of all faiths and cultures to practice their beliefs. Other spaces include conference rooms, multipurpose room and catering kitchen, two prayer rooms, restrooms including ablution stations, administrative offices, and multi-faith counseling rooms to counsel individuals from the university community. The future outdoor spaces will include an outdoor celebratory space for 80 persons, and the exterior garden areas will complement the indoor spaces, and provide additional space for meditation and contemplation.