Renovations To Begin At Earthquake-Damaged University In Shawnee - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Renovations To Begin At Earthquake-Damaged University In Shawnee

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St. Gregory’s President Greg Main and Abbot Lawrence presided over the blessing ceremony. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B. St. Gregory’s President Greg Main and Abbot Lawrence presided over the blessing ceremony. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B.
Abbot Lawrence prays for the safe and successful completion of the Benedictine Hall Restoration Project. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B. Abbot Lawrence prays for the safe and successful completion of the Benedictine Hall Restoration Project. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B.
Abbot Lawrence blesses the materials that will be used to rebuild Benedictine Hall. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B. Abbot Lawrence blesses the materials that will be used to rebuild Benedictine Hall. Photo Credit: Br. George Hubl, O.S.B.
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma -

St. Gregory's University kicked off its multi-million dollar Benedictine Hall Centennial Restoration Project on Monday with a blessing ceremony.

The ceremony was presided over by St. Gregory's Abbey's Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B. and took place on the steps of the main entrance to Benedictine Hall, which lost its four iconic towers to a 2011 earthquake.

11/6/2011 Related Story: Earthquake Damages Historic Building At University In Shawnee

"The week before spring begins, we gather for a very happy, happy occasion," said Abbot Lawrence. "We are about to begin a good work. Let us pray for God's help through this celebration that God will bring this construction to successful completion, and that His protection will keep those who work on it safe from injury."

The first phase of the project will take 8-10 months to complete and will include the restoration of Benedictine Hall's turrets and the marble steps of the building's main entrance.

"This is a terrific day for St. Gregory's," university President Greg Main said. "I'd like to thank the 3,400 individuals and businesses and friends and alumni that have contributed $2.34 million to the restoration of Benedictine Hall. Those contributions are what enabled us to get started with this project."

The second phase of the project, which will cost an additional $2.7 million, is set to continue the renovations by returning period-correct windows and front doors to Benedictine Hall, constructing a new North entrance, adding a new roof and waterproofing the building in advance of its centennial anniversary in 2015.

Nearly $1 million of interior renovations are also planned.

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