ST. AUGUSTINE CATHEDRAL
Miller-Davis served as construction manager on a $2.8 million project that focused on significant improvements to St. Augustine Cathedral in downtown Kalamazoo. The project included renovations to the sanctuary, lobby and corridors; additions of a cathedra, ambo, altar and baldacchino; as well as infrastructure upgrades to electrical systems and infrastructure for future lighting and sound modifications.
Miller-Davis built the current building as a parish church in 1951 and has provided construction services throughout the years. When Kalamazoo became its own diocese in 1971, St. Augustine was elevated to cathedral status. St. Augustine Cathedral serves as the Mother Church for the Dioceses of Kalamazoo and with these recent improvements, the cathedral is now a proper Roman Catholic Cathedral. The complete sanctuary remodel included the addition of a baldacchino, new marble flooring, new pews and a new marble altar.
This project involved many unique features, including the fabrication and placement of the baldacchino. The baldacchino is the canopy placed over the High Altar. The 25,000 lb baldacchino was constructed on the ground and then hoisted 26 feet into the air on a scaffold to ensure ideal installation on top of the new marble columns. It is extremely rare to build a baldacchino on the ground with all the finished pieces and then place it on top of the columns. Prior to installing the baldacchino, several tons of steel were added in the basement of the building beneath where the baldacchino was being placed in order to support the weight of it.
Another special aspect of this project was that Miller-Davis Company and Central Tile & Terrazzo were both part of the team that originally constructed St. Augustine Cathedral in 1951 and both companies worked together again on this recent project that transformed the Cathedral. At the rededication of St. Augustine Cathedral in 2020, staff members from both Miller-Davis and Central Tile & Terrazzo participated in the ceremony and placed the relic stone within the new High Altar.