Region 8 College Breaks Ground on New Chapel

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - Officials at Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge gave a ceremonial start today to the construction of a new $3 million chapel.  The college held a formal groundbreaking this morning for Manley Chapel, which officials say figures to be one of the most prominent structures ever built on the campus.

Among those turning the ceremonial spade of soil were Steve and Suzy Manley.  Steve Manley is CEO of Universal Asset Management, which operates a plant at the nearby Walnut Ridge Regional Airport.  His vision for the chapel and his commitment of more than $1 million toward its construction were the impetus for the project.

The chapel is designed to be an icon on the WBC campus, and will stand over 50 feet tall when completed, sporting a stacked stone exterior, a skylight that runs the length of the chapel and expansive widows along either side.    The facility will have more than 8,000 square feet of floor space, and will comfortably seat 550.

WBC President Dr. Jerol Swaim said the existing WBC chapel will remain just as it is after the new chapel is completed.  The older chapel dates back to World War II, when the Williams campus was a military base.  Swaim said the structure will continue to be used for dramas, lectures and other functions.