Duke Chapel will close from Monday, Sept. 10 until Friday, Sept. 21, so that workers can examine the ceiling after a six-inch piece of tile fell from the chapel ceiling and shattered in July.
“There’s some more repair work to be done where the tile fell,” said Christy Sapp, associate dean for religious life, in a news release. “The rest of the inspection is largely precautionary.”
The reason for the piece coming loose has yet to be determined and no one saw it come down, Sapp said. No injuries were reported during the incident.
University workers visually inspect the ceiling—which dates back to 1935—on a weekly basis. This will be the first time, however, that the ceiling requires extensive renovation.
Sapp noted that the renovation will require the temporary removal of 118 pews from the chapel—a process that will take about four days to bring the pews out and back in.
Chapel worship for the intervening weekend, Sept. 15-16 will take place on the chapel lawn. In case of rain it will move to Page Auditorium.
Metal scaffolding now spans either side of the chapel’s main aisle.
While a Sept. 16 organ recital has been canceled, there are no weddings scheduled during the weekend the inspection will take place. The scaffolding did not stop events such as Undergraduate and Graduate Convocation, which took place in the chapel on Wednesday, and Maya Angelou will speak there on Sunday.