The Flagler Memorial Chapel has been at the center of our community since its completion in 1949, and all-school gatherings continue to take place here two, three, or more times every week.
Just over 30 years ago, the chapel basement was renovated, and a dark interior stairwell to the lower level was moved outside the building for easier access. This renovation included the addition of a vestibule that protruded off the south side of the building and provided access to new classrooms below. Used for many years as language classrooms, the lower level rooms were once again renovated in 2012 to become the Colhoun Academic Center, used by tutors who provide academic support to students across every academic discipline.
In 2016 further interior renovations - this time to the chapel space itself - were completed as our enrollment grew to an all-time high of 313 students. More room and increased seating became a priority, and we were able to gain both without altering the traditional aesthetic. A local carpenter created replicas of our original pews, which were placed in back once all existing pews were moved up very slighting. While visually, the interior looks the same, the chapel can now seat an additional 26 people, a slight but important difference.
Alum and former faculty member, Farnham Collins '53, and his sister, Dr. Anne Collins, have been actively involved in the recent chapel renovations and championed the removal of the vestibule this past summer in order to restore the chapel's original facade. Farnham has given the lions share of the money, and Anne has joined in with his encouragement and her love of the chapel. With the outer vestibule removed, parts of the southern exterior wall were rebuilt and the window just above that space was restored. Farnie's discerning eye helped to ensure the restoration was done perfectly.
Still to come is a new pathway to the newly renovated lower entrance, and this is expected to be completed next spring.
As with other renovations on Millbrook's campus, Millbrook's Flagler Memorial Chapel looks very much the same, only better!