false 5000 fade 800


St. Olaf College


SMSQ Architects, Inc.

Boldt Role:

General Contractor

Key Points:

Working on the existing Boe Chapel ceiling required a very complex scaffolding system to accommodate reaching high areas and allow full access to the ceiling. The soundproof soffits were prefabricated during the winter months in Boldt's job-site trailers to expedite the construction schedule and minimize downtime to the chapel.

St. Olaf College

Boe Memorial Chapel Renovations

Northfield, MN

Since its dedication in 1954, Boe Memorial Chapel has served a vital role in the lives of St. Olaf students and faculty, a place of welcome for worship, music, edifying convocations, college ceremonies, the arts and private meditation.

By the mid-2000s, the chapel was in need of multiple updates. St. Olaf undertook a comprehensive renovation, including a reconfiguration of interior spaces to meet campus needs. Plans from SMSQ Architects included a reshaping of the ceiling and side walls, extending the worship platform out into the congregation, integrating new lighting and replacing the old organ with a larger 4,100-pipe Holtkamp organ

In its role of general contractor, Boldt added the structural steel in the basement which was needed to support the organ's weight, and built drop-soffits to house HVAC and electrical system upgrades.

Because aerial work platforms wouldn't fit through the entry, we designed a scaffolding system that allowed full access to the ceiling so insulated panels and the new wood ceiling could be added. The soundproof drop-soffits were prefabricated during the winter months to minimize downtime to the chapel.

In keeping with the college's sustainable mission, we used a spray soy insulation and recovered birch from Lake Superior to finish the choir platform.