The deconstruction process of an historic building will begin this week in Shawnee.
Benedictine Hall located on the St. Gregory's University campus in Shawnee was damaged when a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck central Oklahoma on November 5. One of the turrets on top of the building collapsed and the three others were severely damaged. A large crane will arrive Wednesday to begin the process of removing the remaining three turrets, piece by piece.
Contractors have already started to prepare the historic building for the work. The prep work involves layering the roof of Benedictine Hall with a protective covering to absorb the impact from possible falling debris. The deconstruction process will include disassembling the damaged turrets from the top, with an emphasis on preserving as much of the brick and masonry as possible for future restoration efforts. Once the turrets have been removed, a temporary cap will be placed over each of them.
"This unfortunate event really has brought to light the remarkable team spirit we have at St. Gregory's," said SGU President Greg Main. "There have been an overwhelming number of cheerful, can-do responses to the challenges we face by the students, faculty, staff and monks. In one day, we were able to relocate and resume all classes at temporary locations on campus. All administrative operations have resumed, and remarkably, we are carrying on our business operations."
The building remains closed until it can be safely reoccupied. Daytime classes resumed November 8 in various locations on campus. Administrative offices also were relocated to various campus locations.
A capital campaign has been organized to support the restoration of Benedictine Hall.