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The Construction Process

Update - Week 19

We're adding the final touches this week as we enter the final few days of preparation for the Conservatory open house. We hope to see you here on Nov. 17!

Wheeling Jesuit freshman Giovanna Loccisano, who attended Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy through the sixth grade, shows off the former school's original door, which now welcomes visitors to the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery at WJU.

Wheeling Jesuit students Rachel Wadell, Amy Schattel and Sarah Buch, all members of the university's symphonic band, try out the chairs in the new recital hall.

Wheeling resident Elisabeth Slater, one of 12 women from the Slater family to graduate from Mount de Chantal dating back to the 1800s, sits in the new recital hall lobby at Wheeling Jesuit University, where a rug donated by her aunt, Sally Slater Pierce, is on display.

Wheeling Jesuit vocal instructor Robert Troeger and university choir members, Stephen Probert and Samantha Herrington, pose in the university's new Sisters of the Visitation Gallery. Visible Mount de Chantal items on display in the gallery include a bust of Franz Liszt, a piano belonging to Visitation Sister Joanne Gonter, a reproduction of the Romaine Goddard portrait and the chandelier from the Mount's Parents' Parlor.

Donald Mercer, right, and James Gourlay, director of instrumental music and bands at Wheeling Jesuit University, look on as Beth Mercer plays the Steinway grand piano that the Mercer family donated to the university for use in the new recital hall. The piano, built in 1970, originally belonged to Donald Mercer's father, J. Loran Mercer, who in the 1960s was the musical director at Wheeling College and head of the music department at Warwood High School in Wheeling.

Construction Update - Week 18

84 Lumber Sign Shop is creating large signage for the Conservatory, indoors and out, and in this photo a decal is applied above the doors entering the space from the stairwell.

Construction Update - Week 17

Vince DeMarco from Volpatt Construction installs a final piece of trim on the donor wall that will greet visitors as they step off the elevator into the Conservatory.

Construction Update - Week 16

This week Jamison Carpet finished laying the porcelain tile and the Recital Hall carpeting, both of which made the spaces look "finished." The Mount de Chantal front door - beautifully refinished by Ye Olde Renovators - is in place greeting visitors to the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery, surrounded by a wall of glass that allows a view inside. WJU grad and friend of Mount de Chantal, Joan Carrigan, stopped by for a visit and posed for a photo in the Lobby by the window from the MdC art studio. We invite you to come and see it first hand at our Open House Sunday, Nov. 17, from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. We can't wait to show it off!


Construction Update - Week 15

With the Conservatory opening only four weeks away, the space came to life this week as many important and beautiful elements were added. These photos show the wood floor installation on the Recital Hall stage, the newly cleaned and rewired (thanks to United Electric) chandelier in the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery (note the MdC tin ceiling above it), and a view from the Recital Hall through the Parlor and Lobby, into the Sisters Gallery.


Construction Update - Week 13

Showing off the new woodwork in the Conservatory are Chris Galla Webb (below left), MdC '71, who was in town this week from the D.C. area; Samantha Herrington (below right), WJU freshman and recipient of the first Mount de Chantal Music Scholarship; and Volpatt construction chief Alan Doman and VEBH Architects interior designer Beverly Shelby (far below).


Construction Update - Week 12

Installation of porcelain flooring tile began this week, arranged in a herringbone pattern. Stage lights and ceiling lights were installed in the Recital Hall as well. Also, workers began placing wainscoting around the walls of the Recital Hall as the specially crafted woodwork was delivered.


Construction Update - Week 11

Things are really getting exciting now as the more visible parts of the project are being completed. This week, workers installed the tin ceiling and tin medallion - Mount original - in the recessed portion of the Sisters Gallery ceiling. The tin will be painted white after installation, and then we'll hang the repaired, cleaned and rewired chandelier.

In the Recital Hall, the ceiling and all its duct-work received a coat of black paint, and the walls are now a beautiful, deep red. Acoustic panels can now be mounted on the ceiling, and the walls accented with woodwork.




HVAC vents were installed in the ceiling grid this week, and the deep blue accent wall - stretching across the Sisters Gallery, the Lobby and the
Parlor - is visible as well.

Construction Update - Week 10

The refinished and repaired Mount de Chantal art studio window, and the front door behind it, are ready and waiting for their upcoming installation in the Conservatory. Didn't Ye Olde Renovators (in Triadelphia, WV) do a beautiful job restoring these two historic and beloved objects?

This frame was erected Thursday to prepare for installation of the Mount front door and surrounding beveled glass panels. The door will be in the center of a glass wall enclosing the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery.

Construction Update - Week 9

At far left, yards and yards of duct work and electrical wiring were installed this week, as workers finish up the infrastructure and prepare the space for painting and installation of doors and lighting. Also, an original tin medallion from Mount de Chantal, seen at left, is now in the workshop for removal of old paint. It will surround the chandelier that hung in the Mount's "Parents Parlor."

Construction Update - Week 8

Much of the drywall in the Conservatory went up this week, with walls solid and ready for the painters to begin their work. In the photo, we see the familiar view through the Lobby and into the Parlor and Recital Hall, and the progress is apparent when comparing it with previous views from the same vantage point. Note the large bulkhead constructed this week in the Parlor ceiling. Inside, the chandelier that graced the Mount's entry hall will be installed in a raised ceiling.

Original Mount tin, shown here in detail, will line the raised ceiling above the second Mount chandelier, to be installed in the Conservatory's Sisters of the Visitation Gallery. Both chandeliers are currently being rewired.

Your support means so much as we build the Conservatory and renovate the objects to continue the Mount's legacy in Wheeling. Please click the "Donate" button on the left side of this page, and follow the instructions for contributing online. Or call Kathryn Kelly at WJU, 304-243-8160. Thank you!

Mount de Chantal Conservatory Construction Nearing Completion

Construction is well underway at Wheeling Jesuit University on the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music, which is set to open late this fall within the university's Center for Educational Technologies building.


Construction Update - Week 7

In the Conservatory's Sisters of the Visitation Gallery, workers craft a rounded raised bulkhead in the center of the room. The chandelier that hung in the Parents' Parlor at Mount de Chantal will hang in the center of this eight-foot-wide raised opening in the ceiling, suspended from its original tin medallion and surrounded by additional tin ceiling from the Mount. Directly under the chandelier will be an upholstered round banquette for seating.

From stage right, we look out into the Recital Hall and see, from left, the doorway to the stage-left storage room, the doorway leading out into the Parlor, and the window into the sound booth.

Construction Update - Week 6

One of the iconic scalloped-edge windows from the Mount de Chantal art studio is undergoing restoration over the next several weeks, as workers carefully make the repairs necessary to overcome more than a century and a half of exposure to the elements. Once restored, the back-lit window will be the highlight of the Conservatory lobby, where all visitors will be able to see and enjoy it.

Construction Update - Week 5

Drywall was installed in many areas throughout the Conservatory this week. In the photo at left, we look from the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery through the Lobby and into the Parlor, where the doorway to the Recital Hall has been framed. In the Lobby, a wall is being prepared for the installation of one of Mount de Chantal's original scalloped-edge windows.

At left, the Recital Hall stage takes shape in this side view, as drywall goes up to enclose the stage-right storage area.

Construction Update - Week 4

The right side of the Conservatory's Recital Hall stage is taking shape in this photo, along with one of the storage areas that will flank the stage. Raised 12 inches from the floor, the curved stage will accommodate an orchestra of up to 30 musicians.

Construction Update - Week 3

Framing went up this week for the walls throughout the Conservatory. In this photo, taken from a spot in the parlor, we look out through its arched entryway into the lobby, and through another arch leading to the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery.

Construction Update - Week 2

What a difference a week makes! Workers have nearly finished dismantling walls in the spaces that will be transformed into the Conservatory. At far left, two workers pause in the future Recital Hall. At left, we see progress in the room that will house the Sisters of the Visitation Gallery. This view faces the wall that will hold a reproduction of the well-recognized G.P.A. Healy paining of Romaine Goddard, the Mount's first harp graduate.

Construction Update - Week 1

Demolition began July 15 on the first floor of Wheeling Jesuit's Center for Educational Technologies building, in preparation for what will be the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music at Wheeling Jesuit University. Workers addressed the Recital Hall first, with these photos showing a view toward the future stage (Far Left) and the removal of an interior wall (Left).


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