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Catholic college to build large cathedral, crucifix

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NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Administrators at Ave Maria University, the nation's first new Roman Catholic college in four decades, outlined plans Wednesday to build a campus that would feature one of the largest cathedrals and crucifixes in the United States.

According to the plans for the $240 million first phase of construction, the campus would be built around a 60,000-square-foot cathedral with aluminum-and-glass arches.

Officials said the cathedral, the Oratory of Ave Maria, would be the largest fixed-seating Catholic church in the nation, offering permanent seats for up to 3,500 congregants and additional standing room. Embedded in its facade would be a 65-foot red-tinted glass cross with a 40-foot body of Christ.