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January 3, 2015, the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh broke ground on a $41-million-dollar project located in West Raleigh. The dream of building the first cathedral in North Carolina had finally become a reality. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral brought hundreds of parishioners to the future site of the esteemed Cathedral that is to be completed at the end of 2017.
Michael Burbidge, the bishop of Raleigh, announced that more than 22,000 donors from the 55-county diocese made financial pledges during a fundraising campaign that was launched in September 2011. In all, supporters have given or pledged $34.7 million toward the cathedral construction.
Clancy & Theys, the general contractor for the cathedral, chose Baker Roofing Company to fabricate and install the copper panels that will adorn the dome and the roof. Roofing the dome posed a unique challenge since it was to be constructed and roofed while on the ground and once completed, the 160-ton dome would be hoisted into place atop the cathedral.
In order to place the colossal dome, a special crane would be needed. Buckner Companies was selected to supply and operate the crane that would be assembled on site and then used to lift the structure into place. The entire dome stands at 88 feet tall and weighs nearly 320,000 pounds. It took about an hour to raise the dome from the ground and lower it onto the framework where it was secured to the rest of the cathedral structure.
Since it’s placement atop the cathedral, the massive copper dome is visible for miles around the area of West Raleigh. Baker Roofing Company is honored to have played a small role in the construction of this momentous project that is not only a major construction milestone but also the future home to eastern North Carolina Catholics.
“Roofing the dome posed a unique challenge since it was to be constructed and roofed while on the ground and once completed, the 160-ton dome would be hoisted into place atop the cathedral.”
Prentiss Baker comments on the excitement he feels to be a part of the process, “It’s always a pleasure to work closely with Clancy and Theys on any project, but we were especially honored and humbled to be selected as the roofing contractor for this incredible project that is so close to home. We are proud and excited to be a part of this historic project.”
Once the dome was in place, the 11 foot tall, 50 pound cross was prepared to make the trip to the top of the dome. Bishop Michael Burbidge, accompanied by Monsignor David Brockman and Monsignor Gerald Lewis, blessed the cross with holy water before it was lifted to the acme of the cathedral. Two of Campbellesville Industries employees, who fabricated the copper cross, escorted the cross to the top of the embellishment on the dome where it was installed, exactly 170 feet from the ground.
The Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral is planning to open by fall of 2017. It is estimated to serve 2,000 worshippers at a time, a substantial increase from Sacred Heart Cathedral, the only other Cathedral in Raleigh, that seats 320 and provides 11 masses in order to accommodate all worshipers.
Baker Roofing Company is proud to be a part of this historical addition to the Raleigh area and is eager to see the finished project.