CAA Warms Up

November 04, 2016 | Stacy Knight

Warmer days are coming to Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash. — or at least a warmer chapel. This winter, students will no longer need to hunker down under their heavy coats and hats during chapel services. “It’s so cold people dread going [to chapel] in the winter,” says Mikey Burdick, a CAA junior.  

Thanks to donations from the supportive community, students and staff can leave the cold outside. Renovations began in September to bring some important changes to the chapel building, including all-new heating and cooling. “It’s good to see a change. It’s good that people are actually going to want to go into the chapel in winter,” says Burdick.

The roof, fascia and gutters are also being replaced. New sound equipment will be plugged into a new electrical system better able to handle its job without blowing. Installation of stage lighting will complete the updates and new look. 

The building, a shared space with the cafeteria, was not originally designed to be a chapel, but a large cafeteria and dining area. Now a thin divider separates the chapel space from the dining area. Aaron Payne, the campus chaplain, says, “I want people to walk in and not think 'cafeteria' but 'worship center.'”

He envisions a comfortable, warm, inviting room with technology for an engaging worship service. The renovations will bring that goal closer to completion.  

Still on the to-do list is a new soundproof divider between the chapel and the cafeteria. The old, single-pane windows need to be replaced with energy-efficient ones, which will make the new heating and cooling system more effective. The rest of the dreams for the chapel are cosmetic and include new flooring and a refinished ceiling. Sophomore and student association student chaplain Mitchell Powers hopes the chapel can be a “place where people are comfortable, relaxed and joyful.” And, of course, warm.