The group has also garnered support from most of Cobb’s six city councils in the form of a resolution supporting saving the chapel.
Chief Dick Roberts, who chairs the chapel’s foundation, said they must raise between $80,000 and $100,000 to move the more than 2,000-square-foot building, which otherwise will be demolished to make room for a parking lot.
“We’re faced with a deadline now,” he said. “My understanding is that the bids went out the latter part of September to demolish it. This is kind of a last-resort effort now.”
He said the demolition could cost around $20,000.
There were originally two options to save the chapel — either move a proposed road or raise the money to move the building — but now they are down to just one option.
“We’re ready to move it on a moment’s notice,” Roberts said.
The foundation has been preparing for the demolition since 2005 and has received money from nearly 500 donors to help maintain the building, but none to move it.
Roberts said they have been working with base commanders to try to preserve the chapel.
“I have no complaints against the Air Force except that they want to tear it down,” he said.
Roberts’ history with the chapel goes back to February 1953, when he joined the military.
“This effort is my dedication to my brothers who were in the guard. It’s just something that I’ve supported and have been a part of since then,” he said, adding that the 94th Airlift Wing still uses the facility once a month, along with the guard.
Additionally, there are still weddings held there from time to time, he said.
“It’s not only important to me, it’s important to a lot of people,” he said. “I’ve taken seven years out of my retirement to try and save this chapel. We still believe in it whole-heartedly.”
Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon, who served on a unit at Dobbins between 1966 and 1970, supports the preservation effort.
Bacon met with each city’s mayor about three weeks ago to encourage them to sign a resolution in support of saving the chapel. Smyrna’s City Council unanimously approved the document Monday night.
“It’s got a lot of history to it,” he said of the chapel. “I’m hoping all the other cities will pass a similar resolution. It does nothing but just let folks know that we’d like to save it. It’s not OK to tear down everything in this day. You can still save some things that have some value.”
Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said his Council will consider approving the resolution at their Oct. 15 meeting, and Powder Springs will take it up the same day.
“If it can be preserved, I’d hate to see it torn down,” Powder Springs Mayor Pat Vaughn said.
Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said he’s already signed the resolution and his Council supported him in doing so.
“I’m all about historic preservation,” he said. “(The chapel) is an important asset for Cobb County.”
Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin said he plans to sign the resolution.
“Every time you drive down (Highway) 41, you can see it,” he said. “It’s important to our community, so you can look for (the City of) Marietta to follow suit (in supporting the preservation).”
Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins was unavailable for comment.