SHAWNEE, Oklahoma – The earthquake damage to an historic building in Shawnee draws an outpouring of concern. This concern has resulted in a capital campaign to support the restoration of Benedictine Hall at St. Gregory's University.
Saturday night's earthquake severely damaged the nearly 100 year old building. Since then, friends and alumni from across the country have contacted the university wanting to help.
Benedictine Hall remains closed until it can be safely secured. One of the turrets collapsed. The other three were badly damaged and are in danger of falling. A hole in the building's roof is covered and awaiting repair.
The university plans to use a crane contractor to remove the remaining three turrets. Much attention will be put toward preserving what is left of the turrets for future restoration efforts. Additional assessments are underway.
"The cooperation and patience of every member of the St. Gregory's community is needed as we contend with the damage of our beloved Benedictine Hall," said SGU President Greg Main. "Classrooms and offices are displaced, requiring alternative spaces that may have to move multiple times. Routines will be disrupted, requiring flexibility and good spirits. Student morale is high, and they are determined to have a successful semester. As Benedictine Hall is restored, we will maintain the learning and serving traditions it so aptly symbolizes."
While costs are expected to be significant, the exact financial impact won't be known for at least a few weeks.