Sometimes, there must be an ending before a new beginning can occur. That was the case in spring of 2013 when Bishops Hall, Candler’s home for fifty years, was demolished in order to make way for Phase II of the school’s new building.

Built in 1957, Bishops Hall was synonymous with Candler for generations of students, but it was not synonymous with technological advances: It could not support the latest in classroom technology, and the cost to modernize it would almost equal the cost of a new building. So Candler officially took its leave of Bishops in 2008, moving into Phase I of its new building, now known as the Rita Anne Rollins Building.

Before Bishops was demolished, Associate Professor of Worship and Liturgical Theology Ed Phillips led the community in “A Rite to Acknowledge the Razing of Bishops Hall.” And then during spring break, the building was taken down by a process called “munching”—essentially, machines took bites out of the building. Within one week, Bishops was gone, leaving room for a greener, more technology-friendly building to rise from its ashes.

That building is Phase II, which will house Pitts Theology Library and the Wesley Teaching Chapel, and connect to the Rita Anne Rollins Building via a glass atrium. Like Phase I, the building will feature state-of-the-art technology and will conform to LEED “green building” standards.

As is fitting for a theology school building, many of the materials from Bishops will be resurrected. Red roof tiles were put aside for one of Emory’s new residence halls. Most of the unused furniture was donated to local charities. And debris from the demolition was sorted and loaded into appropriate bins for recycling. Of the 880 tons of waste removed from the demolition site in March, 723 tons of concrete, 127 tons of metal, and 12 tons of wood were recycled or diverted—that’s a 97.95 percent recycle rate. Not a bad parting gift, Bishops Hall. Thank you.