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Above: Father Joe Rulli, priest of St. Therese parish. Crowd gathers as steeple is raised. Photos by Cindy CornwellSt. Therese parishioners and school students gathered on Tuesday morning, September 24, on the parish grounds to witness the erection of the steeple and cross for their new church currently under construction at 2304 Lower Huntington Road, Waynedale.

Bill Kinder, of Michael Kinder & Sons, general contractor, and crew erected and placed the 6,000-8,000 pound steeple. It was rigged and hoisted by crane operator Bill Wyrick of Central Rent-A-Crane, Inc. of Elkhart, IN with an all-terrain, 120-ton crane. The cross mounted at the peak of the steeple roof is supported by structural steel plating attached to both the cross and the laminated timber framing.

After some initial preparation, the actual steeple lift took less than 5 minutes. Kinder said, "The most difficult portion of the work was the alignment and assembly of the steeple attachment to the new roof structure. There are steel receiver plates mounted on the new church roof which must align and attach to the receiver plates at the base of the steeple."

The steeple will not contain a bell, but has windows to provide natural light over the altar area on the interior. A separate bell tower will be erected on the east side of the new church to house the bell from the original church, an Army chapel building moved from Baer Field to the parish property in 1948.

Once in place the steeple exterior was fitted with lightning-protection devices, roofing and flashing. The interior requires fire sprinklers, drywall and painting. In addition, the windows will be set in place from the interior of the steeple.

Construction of the new church was begun last March. It is expected to be completed and dedicated in March of 2003.


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