University of Saint Francis – Chapel

Project Completed in
Fort Wayne, IN

Project Features

Freestanding Chapel (6,000sqft)

Green Space

Choir Loft

Adoration Space

Project Description

Tonn and Blank served as construction manager for the University of Saint Francis (USF) – Achatz Hall of Science and Research, while also working on the Chapel project. Collaborating closely with USF, Tonn and Blank ensured the University’s mission and project goals were met through the design and construction of the new Hall of Science and Chapel.

The new 6,000-square-foot Chapel in the center of campus, with the steeple being the tallest point on campus, now seats 250 people with a 360-degree view of the university. Green space surrounding the building and close access to parking makes it a great experience for visitors. The Cupola is a distinctive feature of the new building as well as the interior. The Chapel, designed by a Liturgical Architect at Design Collaborative, has a choir loft, adoration space and other features.

university of saint francis chapel construction

A free-standing Chapel had always been a part of the University of Saint Francis’ master plan. However, it was never built. Since the early 90s, Chapel was held in Trinity Hall and could only hold 100 people. Throughout its history, the University has grown and expanded. The Sisters were always hopeful for a free-standing Chapel to serve their students and the surrounding community.

Major milestones of this construction schedule were during the winter months, so our Off-Site Construction division proved to be invaluable in building the cupola in a temperature controlled environment. The Chapel is a 6,000-sqft, 250-seat facility. The centralized location next to Mirror Lake makes the Chapel a prominent campus landmark, and the new sidewalks guide students and faculty around the building as they navigate campus. The cupola features eight windows, each over 10 feet tall, making the Chapel the tallest building on campus.

In architecture, a cupola is a relatively small, dome-like, tall structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome. The octagonal cupola is roughly 35 feet tall by 35 feet wide. The cupola was constructed on the ground, then lifted into place on the steel structure of the Chapel. The Chapel is situated between two academic buildings. The new sidewalks guide students, faculty, and staff around the building drawing them into the Chapel’s presence. The Chapel has an adoration Chapel which is open longer hours than the main chapel to serve students and staff. This new building allows more space and time for spiritual reflection and growth by the students, faculty and staff.