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Multi-faith Center to use wood from fallen trees

Two trees that towered over Elon University for decades were felled Wednesday morning, and the dried wood from both will be featured in the future Numen-Lumen Pavilion, which will house a multi-faith center planned for the very site in the Academic Village where the giant oaks once stood.

Wally Napier, owner of Tarheel Tree Service, works on one of two oak trees removed June 29 in preparation for the construction of the Numen-Lumen Pavilion.

Crews from Tarheel Tree Service arrived on campus June 29, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. Company owner Wally Napier and his workers mulched the foliage and smaller branches they first trimmed from the trees, before bringing down the larger trunks.

The university saved wood to be used for the future building's interior furnishings such as a small chapel altar or wall paneling.

As for Napier, who had been admiring the oaks a few minutes before he lifted himself up in the bucket of a service truck, taking down trees was nothing that stirred any emotions. After all, he’s been doing work at Elon University for nearly two decades and has witnessed the school expand in every direction.

“It’s grown a lot in 18 years,” Napier said. “A whole lot.”

Fundraising and architectural design work is continuing for construction of the multi-faith center, which will be the sixth and final pavilion in Elon’s Academic Village. The Numen-Lumen Pavilion will be a place for prayer, meditation and reflection in the heart of campus, respecting the differing customs of students' religious and spiritual traditions.

The two trees at the start of the day.

Construction will begin this fall.

Eric Townsend,
6/29/2011 4:03 PM