Earthquake Reconstruction Work Begins At St. Gregory's

Thursday, November 17th 2011, 6:58 pm
By: News 9

The 5.6 magnitude earthquake that shook Oklahoma two weeks ago is finally becoming a thing of the past for St Gregory's University in Shawnee. 

The quake, which happened during the school's homecoming dance, knocked down one of the four turrets on top of Benedictine Hall.  The building is almost a hundred years old, and the other three turrets are severely damaged.

Thursday morning, crews finally started working to remove them.  Two large cranes parked directly in front of the old building, hoist men and equipment into place.

Since the quake, Benedictine Hall  has been abandoned, with faculty and students scattered around  campus in temporary classrooms and offices. 

Greg Main, who has been the St. Gregory's president only a few months before the quake, said the past couple weeks have been a test of the school's resolve.  

"Everybody's operating on cell phones and laptop computers because we can't get to our desks," Main said.  "It's been a struggle but we're carrying on and excited about seeing some progress now." 

"There's a book about the monks who started this place, and it's called 'Tenacious Monks,'" Main continued.  "That's what we take our support from.  People have been dealing with adversity for a long time, and we can do it again."

Crews estimate that each of the turrets will require about three days to remove.  They're hoping to be done by Thanksgiving.

St. Gregory's is accepting donations to their Benedictine Hall Restoration Fund.