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Construction begins on Multi-faith Center

With a scheduled completion date of January 2013, the Numen Lumen Pavilion will mark the final addition to Elon University's Academic Village.


Work crews broke ground this week on the Numen Lumen Pavilion in the Academic Village, which upon completion will house the university's future multi-faith center and be home to the Vera Richardson Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life.

Fencing was installed along the perimeter of the work site just to the south of Haggard Avenue, with paths between the Phi Beta Kappa Plaza and the Gray Pavilion now blocked to foot traffic. The site will be cleared of vegetation and trees over the next week before heavier construction equipment arrives.

Campus building and planning officials said that work will take place over the next year between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., which should limit the level of disruption to students living in the Carolina residence hall adjacent to the construction site. Every effort has been made to keep noise to a minimum, said Brad Moore, associate director of planning, design and construction management.

"There will be some noisier activities in the spring with steel erection, and then in the summer and fall, workers will be inside, and the noise level will be much more constrained," Moore said.

Workers installed fencing this week as construction began on the Numen Lumen Pavilion.

The Numen Lumen Pavilion will be a place for prayer, meditation and reflection in the heart of campus. Affirming the university’s commitment to the development of mind, body and spirit and respect for differing religious and spiritual traditions, the center will encourage campus dialogue and promote interfaith collaboration.

The two-story building will feature a circular sacred space adjoined by a multipurpose room, a meditation room, a classroom, meeting and study rooms, and offices of the Truitt Center, which will relocate to the Numen Lumen Pavilion from its current location on East College Avenue. An outdoor meditation garden will be located between the Numen Lumen Pavilion and the Gray Pavilion.

Wood from trees that stood on the construction site will be used for some of the building's interior furnishings.

Efforts have been made to limit the amount of disruption for residents of the Carolina residence hall. Crews will work between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A site dedication ceremony on Homecoming weekend featured students representing many of the world's faith traditions in a program that allowed them to share their hopes and dreams for the future of the multi-faith center, as well as the campus community as a whole.

The Numen Lumen Pavilion will be the final building in Elon's Academic Village, taking the spot on the west side of the quad next to the Gray Pavilion. Construction on the Academic Village began in 2001, with the first two pavilions, the Isabella Cannon International Studies Pavilion and the William R. Kenan Jr. Honors Pavilion opening in August 2002.

Eric Townsend,
1/19/2012 3:49 PM