By Jessica Dillon
News Assignment Editor
After months of construction and minor delays, the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry is nearing completion, with opening celebrations slated to begin Monday, May 1, according to Jared Smith, associate director of facilities operations.
“There are three big things remaining,” said Smith. “The tile roof, the tower and the outdoor area.”
Smith said that while contractors have been hard at work sawing copper flashings and gutters and preparing to place clay roofing tile, which will match that of the other Italianate buildings on campus, the biggest challenge comes in finishing the tower itself.
“The tower is not brick like the rest of the building. It’s a clay terracotta,” Smith said. “There’s a very long lead time for that. The product is specialized and has been ordered for [about] four months, but we’re still waiting.”
The materials are expected to arrive sometime next week. When they do, the campus community can expect to see a “tremendous difference” as far as the project is concerned, Smith said.
Smith added the delays have not cost extra, and the $3.5 million budget “is going good, actually.”
Inside, all systems are a go, he said.
“As far as the electric, the fire alarms, the HVAC and the water, every system is on,” Smith said. “We even got kitchen appliances yesterday. We’re literally just down to the final things. The inside is 95 percent complete.”
The certificate of occupancy, originally expected to be issued Feb. 28 and then, with the delays, sometime mid-March, should be issued next week, Smith said.
As members of University Ministries prepare to make the move from their temporary offices on the upper floor of the John J. Murphy Professional Building, excitement is brewing, according to Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M.
“The new McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry will be a wonderful home for the university’s mission and ministries offices and activities,” Di Spigno, executive director of University Ministries, said. “It is centered in the heart of the campus to be the heart of the campus.”
The opening celebrations are meant to reflect this ideology, said Deborah Mooney, administrative assistant for University Ministries.
According to Mooney, several events have been scheduled to take place during the final week of classes. These include an official opening celebration and blessing by DiSpigno, an indoor-outdoor-reception disk jockeyed by professor Ed Bysiek, a scavenger hunt led by Jeff Sved, several student performances, prayer services, community service opportunities and an ice cream social. The opening celebrations will conclude with Bonaventure’s traditional “Blessing of the Brains.”
“This is an exciting time for St. Bonaventure University,” Di Spigno said.