Chapel renovations nearly complete

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

After $33,000 worth of improvements, Helen Jenkins Chapel in Thorsby is almost ready to reopen.

Renovations on Thorsby’s Helen Jenkins Chapel are nearly complete after about nine months of repairs.

As part of the $33,000 worth of improvements, the church now has new hardwood floors, a new support system for the steeple and a newly painted interior.

Thorsby Mayor Dearl Hilyer said they aren’t quite finished yet; they still have plans to install handicap handrails and fix the windows.

If everything goes well, he hopes to have the project finished by Aug. 8, when they will be receiving a $5,000 donation from CAWACO.

Hilyer said he was proud of the work that had been done and that everyone had really worked to keep the integrity of the structure.

“Our goal was to keep [the chapel] as much like what it was,” said Hilyer.

In order to preserve the chapel in the future, there are plans to impose stricter rental rules and designate more budget funds toward future repairs, including annual maintenance plans with termites.

“To me, it’s our icon. You see this chapel and immediately think Thorsby. It’s similar to the Peach Water Tower for Clanton,” said Hilyer.

But Hilyer assured that he was not solely to thank.

“Councilman Neil Benson and [Councilwoman] Jean Nelson really took the lead on the project. They deserve the credit.”